Quarter of retailers facing serious problems if lockdown is extended, assoc. says
If the government does decide to extend the current hard lockdown by three weeks, thousands of retailers will end up in serious financial problems that may well lead to bankruptcy, according to sector association INretail. "We fear that 25 percent will get into enormous trouble in the coming months," director Jan Meerman said to BNR.
That means "tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and many more jobs" facing serious trouble, Meerman said. Extra financial support from the government is desperately needed. "We can only survive this if real extra money is added."
Meerman especially sees great need for stock compensation. According to the association, damages from stock that can't be sold now amount to 25 thousand euros on 100 thousand euros of stock. "We are discussing this with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, because it really involves tens of thousands of euros per company that must be reimbursed. You are actually talking about the entire retail trade with the exception of food."
INRetail is also negotiating for collection options to be expanded. "Just like with restaurants, you should also be able to do that with retail. Also give the entrepreneur perspective, otherwise the tunnel will be very dark. The sector-specific models are already at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and there has actually been an excellent response. The problem is not there. It is Wopke Hoekstra in particular who has to dig deeper into the pockets and increase the allowances," Meerman said to the broadcaster.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge will hold a press conference on Tuesday. They are expected to announce that the hard lockdown will be extended, and that coronavirus support measures will also be extended.