Mar­ket hav­ing sec­ond thoughts on store open­ing frame­work

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY DIM­I­TRA MANIFAVA

The suc­cess­ful ex­per­i­ment of the so-called White Night event last Satur­day in Athens and many store­own­ers’ dis­ap­point­ment about not be­ing able to open on the last Sun­day of the year in the cap­i­tal and most other cities are forc­ing Greece’s com­merce mar­ket, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and the De­vel­op­ment Min­istry to have sec­ond thoughts about re­tail­ers’ open­ing hours.

The Na­tional Con­fed­er­a­tion of Hel­lenic Com­merce (ESEE) ap­pears to be re­lax­ing its tough stance on the is­sue of Sun­day open­ing, while cer­tain re­gional au­thor­i­ties are ex­press­ing will­ing­ness to change their de­ci­sions is­sued about Sun­days in Novem­ber and the min­istry is say­ing changes to the frame­work could be in­tro­duced be­fore 2015 as the law passed ear­lier this year pro­vides.

The causes for the change of heart ap­pear to be the in­creased turnover on Sun­days this fes­tive sea­son, as well as the suc­cess in the ex­tended op­er­a­tion of Athens stores un­til 11 p.m. on Satur­day, and the con­fu­sion that reigned over the open­ing of stores on the last Sun­day of the year – with a few stores do­ing so re­gard­less. The deputy re­gional gov­er­nor of

took ad­van­tage of the White Night ex­per­i­ment that saw stores and mu­se­ums stay open un­til 11 p.m. on Satur­day, as peo­ple poured into the city center to en­joy the fes­tive at­mos­phere. Thes­sa­loniki, Gior­gos Tsamaslis, has al­ready sent the min­istry a let­ter ask­ing for the frame­work to be re­vised.

The ques­tion is whether the greater con­sumer traf­fic and turnover wit­nessed in the last few days are enough to de­duce any safe con­clu­sions about a fur­ther ex­ten­sion to stores’ open­ing hours.

Com­ment­ing on the ex­pe­ri­ence of the White Night in Athens, ESEE head Vas­silis Korkidis said that “the ex­ten­sion to the open­ing hours on that day was an ab­so­lute hit. We now have to ex­am­ine the re­tail mar­ket of Athens and ev­ery other city very care­fully, as the mar­ket should fol­low the con­sumer, and not the other way around.”

Thou­sands of Athe­ni­ans

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