Business Association of Textile, Accessories and Leather Trade, Acotex, has asked the Ministry of Health this Thursday not to prohibit sales and to “urgently rectify” because this will cause the closure of companies and put at risk about 200,000 jobs. The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, said yesterday that sales in physical stores are not allowed because “they are a claim” and they can facilitate crowds, in line with what was published last Saturday in the BOE.
Speaking to Efe, the president of Acotex, Eduardo Zamácola, has described the measure as “a veritable barbarity” and it has assured that “it puts in danger more than 17,686 points of sale and 198,882 jobs”.
As he has pointed out, the restrictions and the control of the 30% capacity imposed on establishments, as well as maintaining the distance between people of two meters of security are the most effective measures to avoid infections and “not to control the prices of products”. From the bosses they consider that prohibiting the sales “would suppose a serious damage to the traditional commerce in front of the online commerce”, which is allowed to do them, and has asked “to all play with the same rules of the game and the same opportunities to dispose of the accumulated stock in these months. “
Precisely this morning the Catalan Competition Authority (ACCO) released a statement stating that the Government’s decision “unjustifiably breaks the competitive neutrality of the market in the commercial sector” and “it positions very unfavorably the physical commerce in front of the online channel”.
In its opposition it is a measure “especially unsuitable in terms of economic efficiency”, due to the abundant stock available to establishments after the temporary closure of the pandemic. As an alternative, it proposes to require an appointment, reduce the capacity of the establishments or assign turns of entry to the premises as a way to avoid crowds.
On the other hand, the National Association of Large Distribution Companies (Anged), which includes El Corte Inglés, Carrefour or Ikea, believes that the “debate” is “unnecessary” because with the measures established by the Executive for the reopening of the stores, for the moment less than 400 meters, crowds cannot be produced. “The key to the agglomerations is not in the sales or promotions but in the capacity limitations (30%) and the safety distance of 2 meters”, since “with these measures it is impossible in practice for agglomerations to occur” , Anged has said.
“It is unthinkable to think that in the non-food trade there will be an avalanche of customers that food establishments experienced, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic,” he says.
Anged go more reasonable the interpretation of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to “hold the merchant responsible for the fact that such crowds do not occur”.
Industry sent Acotex yesterday, as indicated by this same employer, a letter explaining that “it is not necessary to interpret the established (by Health in the BOE) in the sense that what is restricted, and therefore prohibited, are the sales or promotions themselves. ” This Thursday, consulted by Efe, the Ministry of Industry has referred to what Health establishes.