«Click away shopping» launched on Sunday, hair salons open today

Click away shopping, where customers pre-order their purchases and then go to shops by appointment to pick them up, began in Greece on Sunday for all shops that chose to open, including supermarkets.

While non-essential retail is restricted as a measure to contain coronavirus, an exception has been made for the holiday season between December 13 and January 7, where customers will be able to pick up goods from shops in order to reduce the workload on courier companies, which are unable to keep up with demand.

An electronic or phone order is mandatory, while the goods can only be picked up by a single person, who must have documentary proof of the order in the form of an e-mail from the business that includes its name, address and tax number, as well as the time of collection. The individual must also send an SMS or have documentation for leaving the home, using code 2 as when shopping for food and other essentials.

Goods must be collected at the entrance of shops, without customers entering, while payment must be made electronically or through a POS. Customers waiting to pick up goods must maintain a distance of at least two metres, while only nine people are allowed to queue at a time.

Pick up is not permitted for shops inside malls or from department store “shop in shops”.

Travel to pick up goods is only permitted within the boundaries of each region, not crossing from one region to another, while businesses will be required to draw up a list of the day’s appointments at the start of each day, which must be shown during inspections.

An exception to the above restrictions are bookshops, which will be permitted to admit up to three customers for shops up to 100 square metres, with one extra person for every additional 15 square metres and the open to work an extended timetable.

Hairdressing salons and barber shops will also be allowed to open from Monday and to work an extended timetable, between 7:00 and 21:00. They will only be allowed to operate by appointment and both staff and customers will be required to wear a mask, with a minimum distance of two metres between work stations.

Measures restricting movement outside the home from 22:00 until 5:00 the following morning will continue to apply, as will the necessity to send an SMS or carry documentation when leaving the home.

In addition, those entering Greece from abroad between December 18 and January 7 must observe a mandatory three-day quarantine.

To assist businesses that have no e-shop, the general secretariat for trade and consumer protection will allow them to use the modified e-katanalotis platform to send messages to click away customers, free of charge, starting on Monday. The platform will cross-check the order numbers supplied by the customer against those supplied by the business and send the customer an SMS allowing them to travel and pick up the goods.

The Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship has criticised the introduction of click away, however, saying that it discriminates against smaller retailers, and urged the government to “start thinking seriously about writing off debts” and a series of measures to protect businesses from bankruptcy.

The association highlighted a number of drawbacks, including the fact that very few businesses currently have an e-shop, the exclusion of cash transactions, the practical obstacles to creating pick-up points outside shops, as well as the fact that it eliminates the advantages of smaller shops, which depend on their personal relationships to customers, and the higher risk of fraud.