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Winter sales: traders deplore a “disappointing” balance sheet

IThey ended on Tuesday, but were not a “good year”. On Wednesday, February 9, representatives of traders relayed a “disappointing” balance sheet in parallel with a request for additional aid to protect the cash flow of companies. “It’s not a good vintage. We have accumulated the sanitary atmosphere which persists, generalized telework which removes consumers from cities, and the eternal refrain over the seasons that the sales lose their value due to private sales and various promotional operations ” , summarized Wednesday to AFP Francis Palombi, president of the Confederation of traders of France, which represents the independents.

He indicates that in footwear and ready-to-wear, “the drop in turnover is between 20 and 35%” compared to the similar “cumulative” periods of 2019 and 2020. “We have a drop 17% in turnover compared to 2019 and a drop in store traffic of 28%”, adds Yohann Petiot, general manager of the Alliance du commerce (department stores, clothing, footwear), who interviewed Retail Int., a panel of around forty brands representative of the clothing market.

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An improvement during the last week of the sales

Sign that work at home has weighed, Yohann Petiot notes “a slight increase in activity for the last week of the sales” following the lifting of compulsory telework on February 2. Also played “the absence of tourists and tensions on purchasing power”, highlights the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris Île-de-France, which evokes “disappointing” sales and quotes a survey carried out with 300 Parisian merchants and according to which for 40% of them, the sales did not generate additional turnover compared to a normal month.

Representatives of the sector should be received in a few days at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, according to Francis Palombi, “to take stock of the aid”. “We are calling for tax exemptions and measures to extend payment terms to suppliers. It’s not just hotels, restaurants and night jobs, the situation is also worrying in our sectors,” he said. “Usually January is a strong month which allows retailers to sell off their stocks and replenish their cash flow”, adds Yohann Petiot, who asks “for companies that wish to do so, to be able to extend the repayment period for PGEs (loans guaranteed by the State) and avoid being caught in a vice of debt”.

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