Convenience stores want better regulations

αναρτήθηκε στις 11 Απρ 2017, 1:00 π.μ. από το χρήστη SYKADE Admin   [ ενημερώθηκε 11 Απρ 2017, 1:00 π.μ. ]
Owners of 24-hour convenience stores know the Sunday shopping debate has been settled, but they feel the state has to give them something if the neighbourhood kiosk is to survive.

The Cyprus Association of Convenience Stores (SYKADE), a group advocating for kiosks that operate 24 hours a day, is calling on parliament and government to find a happy medium in the shopping debacle.

SYKADE president Andreas Theodoulou says their members are on the losing side if nothing is done.

He recently argued before a House Labour Committee that convenience stores ought to have an exclusive right to sell tobacco products and print media.

“This can bring about better inspections on the sale of tobacco and also help kiosks stay afloat,” Theodoulou told the Cyprus Weekly, adding that they are not against the free market.

“We just want the state to regulate the market fairly, that’s all,” Theodoulou said.

For years, small businesses fought alongside opposition parties against supermarkets opening on Sunday. But the SYKADE head says Sunday shopping was eventually engraved in people’s mind.

“It’s not something that people are willing to give up, Sunday shopping is widely accepted now”, he said.

The Nicosia convenience store owner believes the government has an important role in setting some ground rules. He cited zones for large discount stores in other countries, saying this is a form of regulation that makes sense with no losers.

“Giving kiosks exclusivity on tobacco and media is not any different from having other specialised shops like tyre dealers for example,” he said.

Theodoulou says MPs and Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou have already agreed with his proposal, but this is a catch-22 situation.

On the one hand, they took away the minister’s right to regulate, and on the other, passing a law this year is politically impossible, he said.

“People need their supermarkets, but they also need their convenience stores,” he added.