23 August, Corriere della Sera
Accounts in the red for shops Rome which add up to the current recession. According to the president of Confesercenti Lazio, Valter Giammaria, there are 10 thousand empty shops in Rome. Besides, 2 thousand business shut down every year, and the continuous changes in management have reached an average of 25%. Basically, a shop every four changes its management every year.
After an unsuccessful sales season, with average losses from 15% to 25% (the centre registered the lowest numbers), retailers have started wondering about the upcoming autumn. “We can hope in the recovery only if there are a significant countertrend and a considerable reduction of taxation. Otherwise, there won’t be any relaunch”, says Valter Giammaria. And he adds: “We need initiatives at national level and events attracting Italian and international tourists. The city needs a different image, not how it appears now in the newspapers. We need to bring back order and rules in retail”.
Moreover, “Unauthorised businesses are a constant issue: it damages the sector, and its level has escalated. In the whole region, the sales of counterfeit products amount to 2 billion and 350 million. Unauthorised merchandise can reach a turnover of 10 billion”. The Confesercenti president is worried: “Salaries are no longer proportioned to the cost of living, and consumptions have consistently dropped. The reasons for the crisis of local businesses are many: shopping centres, internet, etc. But the truth is that families don’t have money to spend”.
David Sermoneta, Confcommercio for Rome old town, agrees with that: “The negative trend is relentless, and we’re touching the bottom. We’re sinking and cannot resurface anymore”. According to Sermoneta, low-cost tourists are to blame, as they not only don’t buy but also “deter customers”. After the all, “the cheaper the area gets, the more paying customers go elsewhere”. Giovanna Marchese Bellaroto, Cna Commercio, confirms this vision: “We’re at a standstill, the worst for the industry”. And clouds seem to be approaching the horizon: “There isn’t any element making us wish for a better autumn. There are no strategies in place. Shopkeepers can’t take it anymore. The only opportunity is the development of the Region’s “business networks”, but they’re not enough if they’re not supported by the recovery of businesses in the city”.
Source: Corriere della Sera
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi