In spite of new stricter anti-Coronavirus measure, large companies are being allowed to reopen, striking a blow for local and small businesses
Translated by Adriana Dancu
The 400 stores of the Action chain will reopen today. The stores were closed yesterday due to the lockdown, but the chain now sees opportunities to open with a limited assortment of products: “We have coordinated it with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and our industry association,” said a spokesman.
According to Action, about 40 percent of the range consists of essential items such as washing and cleaning products, shampoo, hand gel, toilet paper, pet food, drinks, and food. All non-essential products are covered and cannot be scanned at the checkout.
“In all stores we strictly adhere to the measures regarding safe shopping, keeping distance and a maximum number of customers per store,” said the spokesperson. “There is also an employee at the entrance, and carts and baskets are cleaned.”
Wibra is also opening again. Employees are covering products this morning that cannot be purchased. “We have discussed internally whether we consider it responsible to take this step ourselves,” says director Bas Duijsens. “Supermarkets are extremely busy this festive month and we think it is important to force a spread. That people can not only turn to Albert Heijn and Jumbo for cleaning products.”
According to Duijsens, the group obtains about 45 percent of its turnover from essential products. As soon as stores have adapted their range, they will reopen. HEMA already opened all branches yesterday. There, too, only essential products are sold. The rest is unavailable.
“The small shopkeeper is the victim and remains closed”
According to NOS, several parties from the House of Representatives criticised the opening of large retail chains, and argued that focusing only on helping the largest retail giants is wrong.
Jesse Klaver from GroenLinks tweeted that “this is the exact opposite of the solidarity that is badly needed during this lockdown.” Similarly, Eppo Bruins from ChristenUnie, tweeted that “it hurts the eyes that the big chains with their smarts are pushing out the local middle class to squeeze that one last cent out.”
Even though the opening of large retail chains is questionable, the customers have the last word. Now it is more important than ever to support local shops. Buying everything you need, and supporting struggling local businesses is the nicest Christmas deed you can do. If you want some inspiration check out Matilda Siebrecht’s, The Northern Times contributor, articles on shopping local.
The article source can be found here.