Thousands of retailers risk bankruptcy, burdened with debt
Thousands of retailers could close or go bankrupt in the coming months due to high debts, Nu.nl reports. The coronavirus pandemic and inflation also contributed to their financial burden.
Jan Meerman, who is general director of trade association INretail for the fashion, sports and shoe industry, told Nu.nl that around 20 percent of members have "serious problems." He predicted half of these retailers would close or go bankrupt. The Chamber of Commerce also forecasted a number of companies would close or file for bankruptcy in the coming months.
Meerman blames tax debts for the pressure, and believes the Cabinet should postpone these debts and ditch its policy of charging interest from Oct. 1. Although retailers were not able to sell nearly as much during the past two years of the coronavirus pandemic, they continued to face various costs, he pointed out. "Stop bullying these entrepreneurs," Meerman said.
However, there is some hope for retailers, Meerman told Nu.nl. Stores are now turning a profit similar to 2019, although they are still seeing less customers overall. "Consumers have spent nothing for two years and saved a lot. People are catching up, they want to shop in combination with restaurants and culture."
In 13 cities, stores have also banded together to lobby municipalities and "draw attention to the problems of entrepreneurs." This has been a success so far, Meerman said.