Retailers think they can handle Easter crowds despite staff shortages
Retail stores including IKEA and Intratuin expect to be able to handle bigger crowds during the Easter weekend, despite ongoing issues with staff shortages. IKEA is one of the stores that gets a surge of customers on Easter Monday compared to the rest of the year. The home furnishings firm expects to be able to deploy enough staff at all of its Dutch locations.
"They are used to receiving large groups of people during Easter," said a spokesperson.
Peter Paul Kleinbussink, the head of garden center Intratuin, said the entrepreneurs and employees associated with his company are "very well prepared" for an Easter weekend that is expected to be busier than normal weekends. "Especially given the perfect weather for working in the garden," he says of the weather outlook. The KNMi predicted dry weather up to a high of 17 degrees with only a mild breeze. To prepare, the garden centers are well-stocked with enough plants ready for purchase, he says.
Supermarkets are also anticipating bigger crowds, say Albert Heijn and Jumbo. A spokesperson for Jumbo reports that distribution centers for the supermarket chain have been planning supplies around Easter for "some time,” taking into account higher demand for both Easter products and daily groceries. "We are operating with maximum occupancy. This not only applies to the stores, but also to our distribution centers and online service."
Traditionally, many eggs are eaten during Easter. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), these will be more expensive by comparison to previous years. Residents of the Netherlands spent about 26 percent more on eggs in February than a year earlier. A spokesperson for Albert Heijn expects consumers to buy eggs anyway, despite the increased prices. "Eggs are a popular product every year at Easter. Also this year," she says.
Reporting by ANP