Retail may start reopening

Retail may start reopening

Government officials agree that any discussions with the advisory committee of health experts on the further reopening of retail commerce cannot take place before early January, indicating a resumption of trade after the expiry of the latest lockdown on January 7.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas told Skai radio on Tuesday that the discussion at the experts’ committee level on reopening the market will be held next week.

Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis has also timed such a discussion for early January.

Speaking on Skai TV, Georgiadis noted that some measure might be relaxed if the containment of the pandemic continues, though he did not specify whether this might take place as of January 8.

He said that he will present a proposal based on his ministry’s reopening plan and the latest statistics regarding the spread of the coronavirus, seeking the agreement of the medical experts.

Georgiadis stressed that if everything goes according to plan and conditions are favorable, a reopening of all retail commerce may be possible, but only under certain rules.

He added that as things stand at the moment there could be a horizontal reopening of retail stores with certain restrictions, while noting that stores will be able to continue operating with the click-and-collect system, known in Greece as “click away.”

A little later on Tuesday, Georgiadis clarified on Parapolitika radio station that the click-and-collect system is here to stay and will continue even after measures against the pandemic are lifted.

Meanwhile, market estimates on retail turnover this festive season point to reduction of about 60% compared to last year’s, as online commerce and the click-and-collect method have only partially substituted the normal operation of stores.

According to projections by retailers, holiday turnover this year will come to about 1.5 billion euros, down from about €3.5 billion over Christmas 2019.

Notably, before the onset of the economic crisis of the 2010s, holiday turnover was known to come up to €6 billion.

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