NICOSIA - Coming after retail shops protested the renewal of a degree for longer opening hours, large stores on Friday demanded the right to serve customers for longer.
Speaking to the press, Executive Director of the Cyprus Association of Hypermarkets, Andreas Hadjiadamou said the small business’s protests were an obstacle to progress.
Accoridng to a CyBC report, he accused small shopkeepers of misleading the public over the consequences of the longer shopping hours and suggested they should go into another employment sector if they could not compete in business.
Association chairman Charalambos Papantoniou said retail shopkeepers and small shopkeepers association POVEK appeared to have forgotten that the customer was always right and that people wanted to be able to shop for longer.
Chairman of the Cyprus Assoication of Fruit Shop owners Polys Kattasis also said his association supported the renewal of the minister’s decree.
Retail shops on Thursday hung black banners and stood outside of their shops to protest against renewal of the decree that sees shops staying open seven days a week and until late.
As part of the protest, there were also gatherings at shopping malls in all towns where signatures were collected and submitted to the Labour Ministry.
The petition warned that if the decree for longer hours was renewed, shopkeepers will take more measures.
Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou has already said she plans to renew the decree that expires on May 31. The decree sees shops staying open from 5am until 10pm or 11pm (depending on each town) from Monday to Saturday (including Wednesdays) and from 10.30am until 7.30pm on Sundays.
Before July 2013, extended shop opening hours applied only to shops in tourist areas. Thursday’s protest was organised by POVEK, the Pancyprian Association of Bakers, the Pancyprian Federation of hairdressers, the Association of 24-hour shops, some supermarkets, the Pancyprian Associations for clothing and shoes.