Shopkeepers appeal to consumers: 'Respect the rules and each other in the store'

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Shopping Amsterdam - 2018

Shopkeepers appeal to consumers: 'Respect the rules and each other in the store'

THE HAGUE, June 23, 2020 - Consumers find it difficult in the store to comply with the rules that prevent the spread of the Corona virus. More and more discussions are taking place between customers and store employees. “We therefore call on consumers to respect the rules and each other and to also adhere to the rules in the store. We see that shopkeepers are confronted more with customers who ignore the 1.5 meters away and come into the store with a whole family, for example. Fortunately, the number of physical assault incidents is low. At some stores, there is sometimes only one cash register open and only a limited number of people are allowed in the store. That sometimes means waiting. We also ask for patience, everyone is welcome. We really have to do this together," says Bert van Steeg, deputy director of Detailhandel Nederland.

The results of a survey among 332 retailers by Detailhandel Nederland showed that they find it difficult that customers do not comply with the rules. Violent altercations often concern the 1.5 meter distance, walking routes (entrance and exit), entering the store with several people, walking away irritated because it takes too long to pay. Customers who become angry with each other are also common. Bert van Steeg: “Hospitality is of paramount importance to the retailer. To increasingly have to act as a kind of police officer does not fit in with that and detracts from the atmosphere that people are trying to create.”

Responsible Shopping Protocol

Retailers are satisfied with the Responsible Shopping protocol that was introduced at the end of March. It states, for example, that everyone must be able to keep 1.5 meters away from each other in the store and that the guideline for the number of customers is a maximum of 1 customer per 10 square meters of retail floor space. “These are well implemented. A lot has been invested to comply with these rules. Retailers believe it is important to stick to the current measures to prevent the spread of the virus. It concerns the health of our own employees, but also of consumers themselves. Persistence is the motto. Of course we are happy that it is possible to shop, but fun shopping is really not an issue yet. We do want people to be able to shop with a safe and pleasant feeling,” says Bert van Steeg.

Shopkeepers are generally satisfied with the cooperation with enforcement and the municipality (seven out of ten shopkeepers). Shopkeepers who did receive a visit through enforcement were mainly checked on the number of customers in the store and the 1.5 meters away. No fines were handed out to the respondents.

Photo: Amsterdam, 2018, by dimhou

Survey Results

The survey was set out by Detailhandel Nederland and was completed by 332 retailers. Respondents included butchers, fruit and vegetable specialists, tobacconists and convenience stores, and florists. The survey was completed between 15 and 19 June.

Are you familiar with the responsible shopping protocol?

  • Yes 99%
  • No 1%

Are the measures in the protocol workable?

  • Yes 80%
  • No 20%

Do you use an additional protocol, for example that has been drawn up by your trade association?

  • Yes 30%
  • No 70%

Have you relaxed your policy recently? For example, that the personal responsibility of customers is more emphasized?

  • Yes 25%
  • No 75%

Should the responsible shopping protocol be adjusted?

  • Yes 30%
  • No 70%

Do you see an increase in aggression as a result of applying the protocols?

  • Yes 13%
  • No more aggression, more discussion 56%
  • No 31%

Where is your store located?

  • Main shopping street 15%
  • City center / shopping center 20%
  • Peripheral street / village 41%
  • Other 24%

What is the bustle in your shopping street?

  • Much less busy than before corona 9%
  • Slowly busier, not yet at level 37%
  • Almost as busy as before corona 54%

Do you see any risks that it will become too busy, now that the catering industry has reopened, for example?

  • Yes, getting too busy 14%
  • No, number of visits is still too low 28%
  • No, good measures have been taken
  • to manage crowds 58%

Are you familiar with the 'guidelines for responsible visits to shopping areas'?

  • Yes 51%
  • No 49%

Do explicit rules as a result of corona apply outside your store (in the shopping area where your store is located)?

  • Yes 21%
  • No 74%
  • Don't know 5%

How do you assess the cooperation with enforcement and the municipality?

  • Good 29%
  • Sufficient 43%
  • Moderate 19%
  • Bad 9%

Have you been checked for compliance with the protocol?

  • Yes 27%
  • No 73%

Have you received a fine?

  • No 100%
  • Yes 0%

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