In the Netherlands, the lockdown is extended by three weeks. Non-food representative INretail insists on substantial additional support measures.
Due to the high number of Covid-19 infections, the cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte seems to have no other options but to extend the current measures. According to Dutch newspaper AD, the lockdown "will certainly get prolonged until 31 January and might be extended by three whole weeks." As a result, non-essential shops in the Netherlands will remain closed for a while.
Not many details are known about additional support measures. Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra stated that the compensation would depend on the damage suffered, but he did not mention any specific figures or plans. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow.
According to INretail, a real catastrophe is looming if the government does not come up with additional support soon. "We fear that 25 per cent will face tremendous problems in the upcoming months. We are talking about tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and many more jobs. Only with additional financial support can we survive this, but we'll have to see what happens tomorrow," says director Jan Meerman to Dutch business platform BNR.
Meerman thinks of two measures, in particular, that could help the industry. Firstly, he advocates for stock compensation. "We are talking about a 25 per cent loss on the current stock that you simply cannot sell anymore. We are also discussing this with the Ministry of Economic Affairs because we are talking about tens of thousands of euros per store that should be compensated."
Also, Meerman hopes that the stores will be allowed to set up pick-up points. "Just like restaurants, you should be able to do the same for retail. Give the entrepreneur a perspective, if not, the light at the end tunnel might fade."