Published 12 April 2020
Retail businesses that provide food items are a part of those services deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these businesses remaining open is beginning to be met with resistance in parts of Europe.
April 9, 2020 — As many businesses across Europe have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some businesses have been deemed essential and remain open. These businesses include supermarkets and other food retailers, which provide essential food items and household goods to the general population. Despite being deemed essential, some food retailers are starting to feel the pressure to close their doors. This is particularly evident for businesses that operate in malls where they are often they only business open.
Poundland and B&M have both stated that they were feeling extreme pressure to close all of their stores that are in malls and shopping centres. These businesses provide a range of different goods, including food items. This pressure is coming from landlords, who are no longer bringing in any rent due to almost all of the other businesses within the shopping centres being closed. Landlords want to shut down their shopping malls completely but cannot do so if businesses deemed essential are still open within the premises. As a result of the pressure, both Poundland and B&M have closed locations in shopping centres.
These closures point to a larger issue that is emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic: how do all levels of business in the food industry follow government protocols while keeping themselves afloat? The answer doesn’t appear to be a simple one. Essential services are required to stay open to keep the general population healthy, but the greater economic impacts of these decisions are only now coming into view.