Retailers struggling to adjust

Retailers struggling to adjust

The hybrid shopping models of click-and-collect and click-inside have started operating in major cities such as Athens, Piraeus, Patra and Halkida due to the new Covid-19 restrictions, with many problems reported and some major enterprises leaving it very late before deciding whether they would employ them or stay closed.

There has been so much concern about the feasibility of these models that two major retail groups, Athens-listed Jumbo and multinational Inditex, did a U-turn and chose to open their stores while using the click-inside system (shopping by appointment).

Over the weekend toy and homeware retailer Jumbo had announced it would employ neither the click-and-collect system nor the click-inside model in the so-called “red” areas, which include the capital. However, on Monday afternoon Jumbo reversed its decision and announced that its 26 stores in Attica, Patra and Halkida would utilize the click-and-collect system, with apparel, book and stationery sales conducted via the click-inside system. The decision was made on the grounds that supermarkets would snatch some of the sales Jumbo normally makes.

Inditex, which operates the brands Zara, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius and Oysho in Greece, also decided on Monday to open its Attica, Patra and Halkida stores to customers as of Tuesday, by appointment only. It remains to be seen whether stores will operate for the full opening hours or adjust them to demand.

A number of other enterprises are also waiting to see how the hybrid model functions before deciding whether they will join in, while there have been reports of large stores where, for example, customers must go through the floor where cellphones are sold without being able to stop and go to the area where they have an appointment to look for books.

Some companies say they need a few days to adjust to the new systems, with many experiencing delays since Saturday.

On Monday the Athens Traders Association called on the government to include more store categories in the click-inside system, such as jewelers, furniture stores, florists and textile sellers.

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