Athens retailers reeling

first_imgFifteen percent of retail businesses in Athens have closed because of the debt crisis and ensuing recession, a study released by a leading trader association said last week.The research undertaken by the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) surveyed over 3,400 shops in both affluent and low-income suburbs.The survey revealed that 25 percent of stores, both smaller and larger sized enterprises, have closed down on Stadiou Street, versus 17 percent of the retail outlets that have thrown in the towel in the broader central Athens district. “Greek retail has been going through a strong crash test for a year,” ESEE chairman Vassilis Korkidis said in a statement. “The additional collapse of economic activity threatens the survival of businesses and puts major pressure on employment,” Korkidis said.Data showed that the recession has taken less of a toll on Ermou and Patission streets, where only 15 percent of retailers are no longer operating.ESEE, however, pointed out that figures are worse in less commercial areas, which are not so resilient.On quieter central Athens streets and some suburban shopping areas, rental signs can be seen hung across rows of shops gradually vacated since the end of last year, when consumers slashed spending in view of Greece’s growing economic uncertainty.Retailers complain that revenues from the first two weeks of the summer sales period this year have fallen by 10 to 12 percent over last year’s levels, following a 20 percent drop in 2009.The survey, held from July 19 to 30, will be repeated in six months in order for ESEE to spot trends in the sector. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more