The market is eager to see all brick-and-mortar stores reopen as early as possible, even if it is with the shopping by appointment system – dubbed “click inside” – that the government appears to be leaning towards at this stage. This may be the only way for retailers to contain massive turnover losses from the months-long lockdowns.
Merchants are asking that the new system go into force as soon as possible, for another reason as well, namely the start of the winter sales on January 11, where apparel stores tend to get the most attention from consumers.
Shopkeepers are looking forward to the “click inside” system, which allows purchases to be made inside a store but only after making an appointment. The aim of this system is to ration the number of people allowed inside a store, to prevent long queues from forming outside and to bolster demand in sectors that found it hard to make any sales of note with the click-and-collect system that applies today.
Yiannis Hatzitheodosiou, the chairman of the Athens Professional Chamber, called on Wednesday for retail commerce to be allow to reopen after New Year’s, with the appointment system.
“The government ought to speak clearly. Since it cannot support the market financially, it should give it the right to work, naturally under certain rules and with full respect to health protocols. Otherwise, it will be responsible for the financial ruin of all those enterprises and their employees,” he said.
Hatzitheodosiou went on to express hope that the situation does not deteriorate further due to certain wrong choices.
The president of the Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry dismissed the “click inside” model as a mere consolation prize, before admitting that it might help increase turnover for stores ahead of the winter sales.
“The point is to implement the improved version of the click-away model, the click-inside system, by the opening of the winter sales window on January 11. The opening up of retail commerce as early as permitted is now the main need of the retail market, with the wish for a new year with fewer coronavirus cases, which combined with the vaccinations will allow for a new normality,” he said.