Retailers call for end to “negative” “distracting” Zwarte Piet debate

Retailers say they want an end to the ongoing negativity surrounding the continual Zwarte Piet debate, the Retail Netherlands association of 110,000 companies said in a statement on Wednesday. They are begging for a consensus on the issue and to put an end to all the "distractions."

The association said confusion is apparent at bakeries, toy stores and gift shops, as they are getting ready for the holiday season to erupt, and are still not sure what to print on their packaging regarding the image of Zwarte Piet.

Retail Netherlands plans to participate in a round table discussion on the issue in an effort to bring the conversation about Zwarte Piet to a close. They also call the debate a distraction to kids.

Sander van Golderdinge, Director of Retail Netherlands, said it is unfortunate that there is a division over the interpretation of the celebration as, for retailers, this is one of the most important times of the year, and they would prefer to keep everyone happy.