Retail chain Action opens for essentials, Dutch cabinet not happy

It was music to innumerable ears around the Netherlands today as beloved retail chain Action announced they were reopening their doors. But a recent leak from the NOS’s sources in The Hague suggests the cabinet isn’t happy about it — they’re planning an intervention.

Action’s 400 stores were closed yesterday, following government measures, but now the company has taken the opportunity to open with a limited selection. A spokesperson for the company told the NOS, “We have coordinated it with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and our industry association.”

Just the essentials

According to government guidelines, a store may open if gains more than 70% of its turnover from essential services. If a store earns a profit of 30% from those items, only that part of the store can be open.

About 40% of Action’s products fall into the “essential items” category, according the spokesperson. They sell food and drinks, cleaning products, toilet paper, and pet food — all once again available to customers. They’ve made non-essential items inaccessible until after the lockdown.

Action stores are planning to keep in line with social distancing measures and ensure that all baskets are cleaned. “In all stores we strictly adhere to the measures regarding safe shopping, keeping distance, and a maximum number of customers per store,” said the spokesperson.

Irritation in the House and cabinet

But even with these extra precautions, government officials aren’t happy. NOS sources in The Hague say The House of Representatives and the cabinet are discussing an introduction of stricter measures for large retail chains. They’re evaluating the situation at various levels with great concern.

Action isn’t the first to manoeuvre this work-around. Yesterday, HEMA announced that they’d be staying open for limited sales of food, wine, and other essential items.

Will you be shopping at Action for your essential items? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Abuzer van Leeuwan/Supplied

Brin Andrews
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.


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