One in four stores in Athens recorded a decline in turnover of more than 50% in the first week after the lockdown compared to the same week last year, while a total of 82.8% of stores reported worse turnover compared to a year earlier, according to a survey of 204 stores by the Athens Traders Association, most of which are in the center of Athens.
In the first few days since retail commerce resumed, cosmetics stores have shown the best performance, while children’s apparel stores have also fared relatively well.
The association pointed out that the fact restaurants, cafeterias and tourism enterprises remained closed has had a negative impact on retail enterprises. Another obstacle is that most people need to use public transport to go to the center of the city, but due to the pandemic many are trying to avoid it.
The survey further showed that 55.4% of Athens shopkeepers considered the extension of the 40 percent rent cut as the most important factor for the sustainability of their enterprises, with loans for working capital a distant second (with 27.9%).
“Unfortunately the market has confirmed our forecasts,” said association president Stavros Kafounis.