ECONOMY

Confusion reigns in retail commerce

confusion-reigns-in-retail-commerce

The market in Greece is currently operating at four different speeds, depending on each region’s risk level, which is generating concern and internal conflict within retail commerce and confusion among consumers.

This confusion was aggravated by decision changes over what applies in each region, with measures such as the ban on takeaways and the Saturday operation of open-air markets in Athens and Thessaloniki. There was also confusion among fuel station owners, clarified late on Saturday.

The decision to allow supermarkets to open only until 5 p.m. on Saturday in the “red” zones resulted in long queues outside stores that were long on Monday too. The supermarket chains also had to withdraw from their shelves or cordon off the commodities that cannot be sold in stores due to the new restrictions, such as apparel, electric appliances toys etc.

Hairdressers and barbers were also forced to stay shut in the high-risk areas, such as Athens and Thessaloniki, which meant they had to reschedule all their Saturday appointments for weekdays.

The four speeds are the following:

– High-risk areas, such as Patra and Halkida, where no retail commerce is allowed on any day, not even click-and-collect, while food stores and pharmacies must close at 5 p.m.

– High-risk metropolitan areas, such as Attica, Thessaloniki and Halkidiki, that only allow click-and-collect from Mondays to Fridays.

– Increased-risk areas, where retail stores can utilize the click-and-collect system and apparel shops and bookstores can operate using the click-inside model.

– Alert areas, where retail commerce operates normally.

Food service remains closed around the country with the exception of takeaway and delivery services. There were no takeaway services allowed in Attica, Thessaloniki and Halkidiki for three hours last Saturday, but after the announcement at 2 p.m. they were restored. On Monday it was the turn of open-air markets (which operated normally last Saturday) to see their new restriction revoked, as the government announced that they will be allowed to operate on February 13 after all in high-risk metropolitan areas.