Both shoppers and the market appeared somewhat reserved upon the reopening of retail stores on Monday in Attica following two months of shuttering. This was partly due to the restriction that turned the activity of shopping into a literal race against time.
The surprise decision to stop stores from reopening in Thessaloniki, Patra and Kozani due to the high infection rates there also left a sour taste, while there is concern the same may happen in Attica again as professionals fear a new lockdown in one or two weeks’ time, which would spell disaster for the market before Easter.
Sources are even saying that the meeting of health experts with the government even considered stopping the relaunch of retail in Attica too, but that was eventually rejected.
The problems started from the very first day of the market’s reopening in Attica, with the most stunning example being the Notos department store’s violation of the government decision against the reopening of this segment of the market this week, resulting in the company being slapped with an 8,000-euro fine.
There was also confusion among consumers regarding the simultaneous operation of two models – click-and-collect and click-in-shop – especially concerning the method of payment in each case. It is noted that the click-in-shop method allows consumers to pay by cash or card, while click-and-collect allows for card payments only, in advance or upon collection.
Purchases within the store mean a race against time both for consumers and enterprises, especially the larger ones. Shoppers only have three hours to travel to and from the stores and complete their day’s shopping (excluding food stores), while companies are setting a maximum amount of time that each customer can remain inside the stores – as they can only have a maximum of 20 customers per store at any given time.
Therefore Leroy Merlin and Jysk have set a maximum time of 45 minutes. Shoppers have to move faster at other stores, such as Kotsovolos, Jumbo, Zara, Public, Media Markt and Intersport (30 minutes), and faster still at Cosmosport and Plaisio (20 minutes).