Athens city center sees drop in empty shops


Commercial activity in the center of Athens and other major Greek cities remains alive, but the same cannot be said for the suburbs, particularly poorer districts, according to a survey by the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE).

Central Athens is seeing fewer stores closing, while in areas such as Peristeri and Kallithea, more businesses are shutting down.

Shuttered shops in central Athens came to 25.9 percent last month, which is the lowest since such surveys started in 2012.

The rate peaked in September 2013 (32.3 percent).

In contrast, 43.7 percent of commercial spaces in Kallithea are empty, compared to 39.4 percent a year earlier.

Peristeri has a 29.7 percent rate, but some parts of the district, such as Aghios Ierotheos, have a 37.5 percent rate.

The survey noted that the decline in city center rates is due to the change in business activity, mainly from apparel to food servicing.