EuroCommerce, the body which represents the retail and wholesale sector in Europe, has urged the European Commission and governments of European countries to implement measures to prevent the permanent closure of businesses selling non-food products due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many businesses selling non-food products are facing imminent bankruptcy and the prospect of never reopening as restrictions on people’s movement and government restrictions and lockdowns resulted in temporary closures, EuroCommerce said.
Despite support measures offered by respective governments on short-term employment and temporary unemployment, these organisations are still liable to pay monthly rents with no resources to make these payments.
The permanent closure of these businesses will have an immediate negative effect on the rest of the economy, on employment, on local communities and on town centres, EuroCommerce added.
EuroCommerce has urged the European Commission to call on governments of European countries to provide adequate resources to ease the burden on retailers and wholesale tenants, and include rent payments during the present crisis under their national support initiatives.
It has also called on commercial landlords and retail and wholesale tenants to find mutually beneficial solutions for shops and wholesaler businesses that are closed during this period.
The solutions may include rent cancellation, reduction, suspension, payment deferral, or specific amendments to commercial leases, the group stated.
In addition, EuroCommerce has also invited the Commission and member state governments to look at exit strategies from the restrictions to ease tensions and burden on rents when the crisis subsides.
The body has also asked governments to look into ways to allow a gradual reopening of non-food stores while reiterating that it fully supports the overriding imperative of reversing the spread of COVID-19.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.