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Greece’s Retail Stores, Malls Open on Orthodox Palm Sunday for In-store Shopping

ATHENS – Retail stores and supermarket stores opened 11:00-18:00 on Orthodox Palm Sunday (Vaion) for consumers, as part of the scheduling for the coming Easter holidays.

Stores inside malls and discount villages will also operate on this schedule, as they reopened on Saturday to customers.

All stores require appointments of customers ahead of time and a time limit of three hours in store, while owners are expected to impose additional restrictions on number of customers and to ensure masks are worn and social distancing observed.

Toy stores, electronic device stores and clothing and shoe retailers are expected to be the most popular shopping preferences of consumers. Store owners hope to make up as much of the annual 1.5-billion-euro sales they usually have in the ten days leading up to Easter Sunday (May 2), Attica Regional Chamber Council President Vassilis Korkidis said, speaking for retailers.

Consumers, who have become used to e-shopping and courier deliveries of purchases through the pandemic that arrived in Greece in February last year (2020), are showing an in-person preference for the estasblished annual Easter shopping.

According to the Athens Trade Chamber, 6 in 10 consumers now prefer to buy online, while the same percentage (58 pct) has rated favorably the use of click away and click in shop – delivery by courier or pick up at the store after e-ordering – as alternatives when in-store visits are prohibited.

In terms of the Easter shopping basket, super markets are keeping traditional table foods at last year's prices, with the exception of lambs and goat kids. According to the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods, the average Easter shopping basket will be marginally higher at 41.70 euros (+0.7 pct), while discounts in seasonal goods will average 13 pct for consumers.

Producer Easter prices are around 6 euros/kilo for lambs and 6.3 euros/kilo for goat kids, or nearly 10 euros/kilo at butcher shops.

Consumers to want to visit stores in person are still expected to send a text message (SMS) to 13022 ("Visit to open retail store on three-hour limit") or to fill out by hand a form, additionally to providing as proof of appointment an SMS sent by the store.

As a reminder, proposed retail hours for Easter Week (Monday, April 26 through Tuesday after Easter) is as follows:

* Holy Monday (April 26), 09.00 – 20.30

* Holy Tuesday, 09.00 – 20.30

* Holy Wednesday, 09.00 – 20.30

* Holy Thursday, 09.00 – 20.30

* Good Friday, 13.00 – 19.00

* Holy Saturday, 09.00 – 15.00

* Easter Sunday (May 2), shut down

* Easter Monday (May 3), shut down

* Tuesday (observation of May 1 Labor Day), shut down

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