ECONOMY

Retail commerce sales shrink €15 billion in 2020

retail-commerce-sales-shrink-e15-billion-in-2020

Retail turnover posted a drop of some 15 billion euros last year, according to market professionals, who also estimate that the decrease in revenues over the holiday period came to about €1.5 billion, although that figure would have been even greater were it not for the click-and-collect system.

That system gave the market a breather, they add, asking that it evolve into the click-in-shop model of shopping by appointment, as they consider this to be the stepping stone toward the full reopening of retail stores.

As the vice president of the Association of Business and Retail Sales of Greece (SELPE), professor of finance Antonis Zairis, tells Kathimerini, click-and-collect “will have to evolve into the mentality of click-in-shop, as the contagion index in retail commerce has been very low. The market must definitely operate, as the problems of enterprises after the pandemic will be multiple. Sticking strictly to the health protocols, the market needs a click-in-shop model until the full reopening of shops is implemented,” he argues.

Zairis estimates that the 2020 losses for the sector will add up to €15 billion, with the lost festive season sales adding up to €1.5 billion. The sector has been scarred deeply, he argues, as retail commerce has seen its revenues in freefall since the imposition of the lockdowns. In 2019, total retail turnover had come close to €44 billion, while last year, due to the restrictions, it is projected to have dropped close to €30 billion.

General Secretary for Commerce Panagiotis Stamboulidis reiterated on Mega TV yesterday that click-and-collect is set to return on Monday, January 11, with sources adding that click-in-shop will likely follow suit, although it remains unclear when that is to be implemented.

Stamboulidis stated that “the idea is to return to the same position we were at” before the restrictions that tightened last Sunday. “Every day we collect data, we will see how the disease is shaping up and act accordingly,” he added, noting that click-in-shop will “be the next step when the right time comes.”

“We are ready and we are anticipating the figures that will give us the option to reopen the businesses,” Stamboulidis told Mega.