Jean Castex conditioned a reopening of shops and shelves of so-called “non-essential” products to the adoption of a “reinforced health protocol” currently being negotiated with professionals.
This protocol, which would apply “to all shops and all large retailers”, must “be concluded on Friday and operational next Monday,” said Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire earlier this week.
Here is a point on the measures that are emerging.
An existing protocol already binding
Compulsory wearing of a mask, provision of hydroalcoholic gel, respect for distance, application of a “gauge” setting a maximum number of customers depending on the sales area … “The protocol set up at the exit of the first confinement was already very restrictive, “recalls Yohann Petiot, director general of the Alliance du commerce, an association of professional federations, particularly in clothing.
“This protocol has proven itself, since there has been no proven cluster in shops, which we know do not contribute to the spread of the virus,” he says. He therefore calls for “to start again from this base while being careful not to over-reinforce the constraints”, which could slow down the return of the French to stores.
A “gauge” that is the subject of debate
The enlargement of the home gauge is on the table. “It is a question of going from one person for 4 square meters to one for 8 square meters of sales area,” Jacques Creyssel, general delegate of the Federation of Commerce and Distribution (FCD), told AFP on Monday.
It would be “a disaster”, however estimated Wednesday, on condition of anonymity, a boss of supermarkets food in the specialized magazine LSA. “I do not see how I am going to do for the eve of the holidays with days with several thousand customers,” he explained. “I had forecast a 10% drop in turnover in December, it will be much more if this new gauge passes.”
Extended hours, traffic signs
Another measure under discussion: expanding opening hours “to spread out flows”, according to Jacques Creyssel.
This is also an argument put forward by professionals to ask to reopen a weekend earlier than expected, from November 27 – the government should decide on the matter next week.
It is “the best answer to smooth the traffic in stores on the occasion of Christmas shopping”, abound the specialized trade federation Procos and the Alliance du commerce. “The possibility of opening on Sundays in December and January and the extension of hours should also make it possible to respond to the health issue”, they detailed in a joint statement.
The issue of traffic flow inside shops is also being studied. It is a question of “making the one-way traffic systematic”, indicates Jacques Creyssel.
Purchases by appointment: not a panacea
The possibility of setting up in-store appointments is not unanimous. “It works well in terms of or care, but it cannot work for a period like Christmas, in most large shops”, judge Emmanuel Le Roch, general delegate of Procos.
“It should not be an obligation”, he pleads, because “that would roughly limit the turnover to 30% of what we would usually do, knowing that we will not make 100% of the turnover. last year this year “.