Er­mou stores take mul­ti­ple blows

Kathimerini English - - Focus - DIMITRA MANIFAVA

Traders on Er­mou Street in cen­tral Athens are pay­ing a heavy price, not only for the da­m­age sus­tained by their stores a few days ago fol­low­ing a demon­stra­tion, but also for a hefty drop in turnover.

The July 17 ri­ots, as well as the fear of open­ing for busi­ness on Sun­days even though the law al­lows it (due to threats from union­ists), have led to a year-on-year slide in sales in ex­cess of 10 per­cent this month for the ma­jor­ity of re­tail­ers. At the same time, it is es­ti­mated that just 13.8 per­cent of stores in the area will re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion from in­sur­ance com­pa­nies.

A sur­vey by the Athens Traders As­so­ci­a­tion has found that 44.2 per­cent of busi­ness­peo­ple ex­pect the above events to have a neg­a­tive im­pact on turnover in July amount­ing to more than 10 per­cent. An­other 11.6 per­cent fore­see a neg­a­tive im­pact of 5-10 per­cent, 14 per­cent be­lieve turnover will dip 1-5 per­cent and 16.3 per­cent ex­pect no im­pact at all. One in seven re­spon­dents said they did not know.

The sur­vey also re­vealed that a con­sid­er­able share of traders had no in­sur­ance cover – amount­ing to 16.3 per­cent ac­cord­ing to their an­swers – while an­other 11.6 per­cent re­fused to re­spond to the ques­tion and 72.1 per­cent of own­ers said their stores were in­sured. Of those in­sured 45.9 per­cent said they did not know whether they would re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion, 29.7 per­cent said they were not en­ti­tled to it and 10.8 per­cent did not re­spond to the ques­tion. While the lat­ter re­sponses may sound con­fus­ing, they are ex­plained by the fact that for the ma­jor­ity of en­trepreneurs the min­i­mum amount of da­m­age cov­ered by their in­sur­ance poli­cies is very high, or in some cases the com­pen­sa­tion payable would only cover a small part of the da­m­age.

Many shop­keep­ers also deem it point­less to pay the high pre­mi­ums that in­sur­ers de­mand for the cov­er­age of such risks – nowa­days in­sur­ance com­pa­nies will only in­sure Er­mou stores that take their own se­cu­rity mea­sures. It is only traders who have main­tained old poli­cies and not suf­fered any da­m­age in the past who are likely to re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion for most of the da­m­age their stores sus­tained. as well as the fear of open­ing for busi­ness on Sun­days even though the law al­lows it (due to threats from union­ists), have led to a year-onyear slide in sales in ex­cess of 10 per­cent this month for the ma­jor­ity of re­tail­ers.

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