Pascal Vandenberghe, boss of Payot: “Things were going well until the last announcements from the Federal Council …”

Covid against bookstores, again

Despite requests from the French-speaking cantons, the Federal Council has decided to impose a closure of non-essential businesses. This implies that bookstores will no longer be able to accommodate customers during the next six weeks. Faced with the evolution of Coronavirus cases, the new health measures require a return to Click & Collect, but also to online sales.

“It was going well until yesterday …” Pascal Vandenberghe, CEO of Payot bookstores, collects the news like other booksellers. He ensures that its internet services will be able to meet demand – the group ended the year with an increase in turnover of 2.1%. It remains to define the strict outlines for some: when paper mills are excluded from the scope of the measures, what about a bookstore offering these services? The decision hurts all the more since last November, the canton of Geneva decided to include bookstores in the register of essential businesses …

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