Three weeks of lockdown cost retailers over 2 billion euros in turnover
In the past nearly three weeks of hard lockdown, retailers in the Netherlands lost almost 2 billion euros in turnover, INretail calculated. The retailers' organization, MKB Nederland, and the council of Dutch retail RND all plead for stores to be reopened from January 14, AD reports.
According to the entrepreneurial organizations, the need is much higher than during the previous lockdowns, and relaxation is badly needed. Online orders and click & collect options do not compensate for closed stores. And only a limited number of entrepreneurs are eligible for the TVL scheme, which pays fixed costs.
"Retailers are struggling with significant tax debts from the previous long closure. Only to have to close again during the busiest time of the year. They are discouraged. We are already dealing with a billion euros noose. Just calculate what the damage will be if the lockdown lasts longer than mid-January. Please open the stores again. If necessary, with the introduction of a QR check on arrival," INretail director Jan Meerman said to AD.
RND director Eus Peters wants to meet with the new Cabinet next week, immediately after they are sworn in, to discuss conditions under which stores can receive customers again. "It is so painful to see that a city like Antwerp receives so many Dutch shoppers. Because safe shopping is possible. By admitting fewer customers per square meter, among other things."
During the last coronavirus debate, caretaker Minister Stef Blok of Economic Affairs promised that the Cabinet would look at what more could be done in January. But the new Cabinet, which will take office on Monday, will make the final decisions. There is a special working group addressing the most poignant cases, he said. "We really do our best to prevent as much damage as possible, but it will never be 100 percent successful."