The authorities proposed to limit the work of supermarkets: bans can hit the pocket

Consumers will have to fork out for goods and groceries in convenience stores

In Russia, they want to ban large stores from working on weekends and at night. This initiative was made by the head of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy Andrei Kutepov. From his point of view, the restrictive measure will give a chance to the development of healthy competition, as well as the ability to survive for small shops “at home”. Experts think differently. Consumers will simply not be left with a choice: if large hypermarkets with more or less budget prices are closed, people will have to carry money to any open store on weekends, despite the high cost of goods. As for retailers, they will most likely compensate for lost profits at the expense of consumers, and the staff will have to be reduced.

Senator Andrei Kutepov appealed to the aide to the President of Russia Maxim Oreshkin with a proposal to restrict the work of large retail chains at night and weekends. Allegedly in favor of convenience stores. Meanwhile, products are often more expensive in small retail outlets, and in the absence of an alternative, the buyer will have to go there.

This is not the first time such a proposal has been made. A similar initiative was put forward by German Gref in the early 2000s as Minister of Economic Development. He referred to the experience of Germany, where closing stores in the evenings, weekends and holidays has long been a tradition. Then the idea was not supported.

In 2019, the topic was raised again. Aleksey Kondratyev, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture, also referred to the experience of Western countries, where large chains are closed on Saturday-Sunday. The initiative again received no support. And now a new approach …

For Russia, the introduction of such a norm will be a very serious shock, says the head of the Union of Consumers of Russia, Pyotr Shchelishch. He emphasized that working people prefer to buy food for the next week on weekends.

“People in cities go to chain stores and vote with their wallets for their products, because they are cheaper. Supermarkets can afford to sell goods at low prices, since they buy the entire range directly from manufacturers, he said. – Yes, the convenience store is by definition closer, but this is where its advantages end. “

Petr Shchelisch said that small businesses have to buy products from wholesalers, who charge a significant percentage for their services, or from small farms, which have high costs and, therefore, rather high prices. Chain stores also attract customers with stable quality and a wide range of products.

“A huge advantage of the market economy is the choice that they want to limit,” said our interlocutor. – I have no doubt that the senator who proposed the initiative has good intentions. The role and share of small business in both trade and production is much less than in other developed countries. But supporting entrepreneurs by imposing restrictions, in a coercive way is not an option. It’s like banning Russians from using buses on weekends. Do you want to go somewhere? Take a taxi! It’s not entirely fair. “

From the point of view of the consumer, such a situation will lead to the fact that people either begin to stock up on goods in advance and buy everything for future use, or will be forced to buy what they need in stores near their homes, says Anna Vovk, chairman of the committee of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“First of all, work should be done with manufacturers of goods, who compose their price proposals in such a way that the cost of the same product for detached stores is always 15-20% higher than for large retail chains. But there are also small manufacturers who produce goods in small batches, and they cannot work with large sellers, “the interlocutor of MK notes.

As for the consequences for large retailers, they will have to cut their staff, Vovk said. And large traders will begin to beat back losses that have fallen over one or two days off by increasing prices – they have no other way!

According to experts, the next bans will not give small business opportunities for development: people who are accustomed to shopping in large chains will not carry money to shops “near home”, just as they did not carry it before. As a last resort, many consumers have the option of online home delivery for their essentials.

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 28557 of June 11, 2021

Newspaper headline:
No food until Monday

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