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Non-food retail, on brink of collapse, announces possible protests (employers' organizations)

The situation of non-food retail stores continues to be extremely difficult, given that the support measures announced by the authorities have not appeared or exclude the activities of companies active in industry, announces the Retail Employers' Organization of Romania, RORETAIL, through a release sent to AGERPRES on Tuesday.

The representatives of the organization specify that the Government recently published Emergency Ordinance (GEO) 174/2020, which modifies GEO 130/2020, regarding the grants in total value of almost 1 billion euros, granted to SMEs.

"RORETAIL has sent on numerous occasions to the relevant ministries, the Government and Parliament its proposals for activities eligible for working capital and / or investment grants, activities severely affected by the state of emergency and alert established as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. However, they were not finally included in the provisions of GEO 174/2020," the release mentions.

According to employers, the talks and the consultations with authorities in the run-up to local elections have turned from "possible measures to save jobs and businesses" into "simple election promises."

"As a result, in the next period there will be a strong shock wave for the entire national non-food retail industry," said the organization representatives.

Thus, the situation of non-food retail stores and local suppliers continues to be extremely difficult almost four months after the reopening of shopping centers.

Between July and September, the percentages of decrease in the volume of non-food retail sales compared to the same period last year were up to 75%, with an average decrease of between 35% and 45%. The decrease in traffic from July to September was also up to 60%, with peaks of even 75%, the average being in the range of 35% - 50% decreases, compared to the same period in 2019.

"In the context in which the traffic in the HoReCa non-food retail stores in the shopping centers registers even more accentuated decreases, the lack of any immediate support from the authorities will lead to the final closure of many companies in the field, many of them Romanian brands and producers and to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs," RORETAIL points out.

If we do not find in the Romanian authorities a reliable partner to save the non-food retail industry and HoReCa in shopping centers, RORETAIL members will have to resort to various forms of public protest, warn employers.

RORETAIL - The Retail Employers' Organization of Romania is an association established in 2014, which groups over 1,000 stores in Romania, from non-food retail and HoReCA in shopping centers, grouping both national and international brands and totaling over 12,000 employees.

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