It appears uncertain whether the extension of supermarket opening hours would go ahead on Friday after postponements due to reactions by the chains.
Although the longer hours – from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. – were originally supposed to start on Wednesday, their introduction has now been put off until Friday, and Sunday openings for the next month remain to be seen.
Although supermarkets were originally told they would have to open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every Sunday until Easter, on Wednesday Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis told the supermarkets to open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. He added that it may only be this Sunday that they would open, as consumer flows have reverted to normal.
The sector’s enterprises are citing this normalization in the market, after shelves were stripped last Friday and Saturday, as they voice their opposition, as well as the high operation costs Sunday opening will entail.
The sector is also showing signs of self-regulation, with Lidl Hellas announcing that it will grant priority to people over 65 or with disabilities between the hours of 7 and 10 a.m.