Covid: shopping malls and department stores are wondering when they will be allowed to reopen

Published by Caroline J. · Photos by Laurent P. · Published on 17 February 2021 at 16h26 · Updated on 17 February 2021 at 17h45
In order to curb the coronavirus epidemic in the country, French Prime Minister has decided to close all non-food shopping malls and department centers from January 31. This February 17, retailers’ federations are asking for more visibility with a reopening calendar, for instance.

Nobody expected it. Back in late January, Jean Castex surprised everyone announcing the closure of non-food shopping malls and department stores over 20,000sqm. The goal? Limiting gatherings especially during the sales period.

Therefore, 25,000 department stores and shopping malls had to close again. 17 days after the closure, retailers’ federations ask the French government “to quickly come up with a reopening calendar” for department stores and shopping malls. They say it involves the “survival of thousands of stores and jobs”. As a matter of fact, many “store networks have between 30 and 75% of their stores currently closed in shopping malls” they explain in a joint release.

Today, “several thousands of employees are jobless and without visibility for their job” they go on, before adding that “the survival of thousands of stores and their jobs necessarily involve quick reopening”.

Therefore, these retailers’ federations (Alliance du Commerce, Procos, Conseil du Commerce de France, and Conseil National des Centres Commerciaux) ask the government to “quickly [tell] companies” about a reopening calendar for all stores. More visibility would prevent “jeopardizing retailers – however big they are – even more” they say.

Moreover, these store professionals recall the sales period is “disappointing” and they are now with a “major stock of goods increasing their financial difficulties”.

In addition to the shopping malls and department stores reopening calendar, they also would like to know the “modalities for economic aids instated” to support them.

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