Cypriots are limiting their Easter shopping basket down to the bare essentials due to the economic crisis despite shops significantly reducing prices, POVEK General Secretary Stefanos Koursaris said.
The small shopkeepers’ union boss said that shopping is definitely down for the period and the outlook is disappointing.
“It seems that in view of the financial crisis, for yet another year Cypriots will limit their purchases to the necessary and will avoid any extra spending,” Koursaris told Simerini daily.
“They will make purchases of the necessary goods to prepare the Easter table but will not buy clothes, shoes or gifts as they used to in previous years,” he added.
He said that in any case, during today’s recession no one expects a miracle to happen and for shops to suddenly be filled with people.
Koursaris also said that shopkeepers reduced their prices and products are offered at discounted prices to attract costumers.
He said this is a practice that has been taking place for a long time; however they have seen no results.
“Many shop owners have reduced their prices to the minimum but without any positive outcome. If you don’t have food to eat are you going to go to buy clothes or shoes or electrical devices? Obviously not.”
He said problems persist due to a lack of liquidity.
He expressed hope that those who can, will help the struggling retail trade sector.
Koursaris is also disappointed with the changes to working hours for Easter.
He said that especially on Good Friday (6pm) working hours are unacceptable as many employees will not be able to attend church service.
The Labour Ministry announced that shops will close early on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
According to the new decrees, shops can remain open from 5am to 10pm or 11pm from Monday to Saturday depending on the town.
On Good Friday and Holy Saturday, however, all shops must close by 6pm. Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are also considered public holidays and therefore most shops will be closed on these days.