Supermarket chains talk opening hours again

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The country’s two biggest supermarket chains are returning the issue of their sector’s opening hours to the negotiating table with the Development Ministry. The changes that Carrefour-Marinopoulos and AB Vassilopoulos are asking for concern different points and are related to their business plans.The supermarket sector as a whole appears to be particularly interested in settling the issue of working hours through dissociating them from opening times for other stores.Well-informed sources say that Vassilopoulos is mostly interested in extending the opening hours of its recently launched minimarkets, which operate under the name AB Shop & Go, on which it has placed particular emphasis. These stores have the same opening hours as supermarkets (i.e. from Mondays to Fridays they close at 9 p.m. and on Saturdays at 8 p.m.). The proposal that Vassilopoulos has submitted to the ministry is for a closing time of 11 p.m.Previously franchises called Shop & Go, these convenience stores are now an integral part of the parent company and have a different logo than before. These 100-120-square meter stores are located in four Athens neighborhoods: Galatsi, Koukaki, Kypseli and Zografou. Vassilopoulos is not in favor of opening on Sundays for the time being.Of the convenience stores to have been opened in Greece by the various supermarket chains, it is only those under the name OK! Anytime Markets that have extended hours and also open on Sundays. These stores operate as franchises and belong to the Marinopoulos Group.When Kathimerini contacted senior Carrefour-Marinopoulos officials, they stressed that the opening hours of OK! Anytime Markets are based on the fact that they hold the operating licenses of cornershops, dairy stores etc, which are allowed to open for longer hours. These licenses are not conceded to the chain itself but to the individual franchisees. The chain’s competitors say that the operating status of convenience stores constitutes a gray zone, so a legislative intervention is clearly required.The Marinopoulos group is putting two more ideas on the table regarding opening on Sundays: First, the chain is in favor of all supermarkets (not just the small ones) operating on some Sundays per year determined by special occasions. This, for instance, could be twice before Christmas and once before Easter, which is in line with a proposal by the Athens Tradesmen Association for the operation of stores for six Sundays every year. Second, the company wants to raise the issue of certain local authorities who do not allow stores to open on Sundays in tourism resorts, although the law clearly allows them to do so.Source: Kathimerinilast_img

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