Thousands of traders risk bankruptcy, burdened with debt

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Thousands of retailers could close or go bankrupt in the coming months due to high debts, reports Nu.nl. The coronavirus pandemic and inflation have also contributed to their financial burden.

Jan Meerman, managing director of INretail trade association for the fashion, sports and footwear industry, told Nu.nl that around 20% of members had “serious problems”. He predicted that half of those retailers would close or go bankrupt. The Chamber of Commerce also predicted that a number of businesses would close or file for bankruptcy in the coming months.

Meerman blames tax debts for the pressure and thinks the Cabinet should defer those debts and drop its policy of charging interest from October 1. Although retailers were unable to sell as much during the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic, they continued to face various charges, he pointed out. “Stop bullying these entrepreneurs,” Meerman said.

However, there is some hope for retailers, Meerman told Nu.nl. Stores are now making a profit similar to 2019, although they are still seeing fewer customers overall. “Consumers haven’t spent anything for two years and have saved a lot. People are catching up, they want to shop in combination with restaurants and culture.”

In 13 cities, stores have also banded together to put pressure on municipalities and “draw attention to the problems of entrepreneurs”. It’s been successful so far, Meerman said.

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