The latest restrictions in Hungary also affect the opening hours of the stores.
Although the exact rules are not yet known regarding the restrictions. The shops, inlcuding grocery stores, will certainly have to close at 7 pm on Wednesday. The main secretary of the National Trade Association, György Vámos, made a statement to napi.hu. He said the companies have already started preparing. He also said that the store chains have a large stock of goods, so there is no need to worry about a shortage.
In order to curb the epidemic, prime minister Viktor Orbán announced further restrictive measures on Monday. The operational staff has already made proposals for action. According to the prime minister, shops (including hairdressers and craft service providers) should close at 7 pm. This also applies to the stores of chain stores with the most extensive network. As the tightening will take place from midnight on Tuesday, the shops will have to close at 7 pm on Wednesday. The more precise rules are expected later.
György Vámos, the main secretary of the National Trade Association, – representing among others Aldi, Auchan, Mol, Obi, Lidl, Media Markt, Spar, Tesco, Rossman, Spar, Praktiker and Penny Market- said on Monday:
“Although the specific legislation has not yet been published, chain stores will follow all the rules and have already started preparing after the announcement. The transition will be smooth. Besides, the companies are prepared for the next period, they have abundant goods, product base and supply.”
György Vámos highlighted the appropriate product range because in the first wave, the turnover of store chains increased explosively before the epidemic appeared in Hungary, at the end of February and during the spring curfew, and mainly due to logistical reasons, some products ran out of the store. Gabriella Heiszler, CEO of Spar, said apropos of the situation seen in the first wave back this summer: The onset of the pandemic posed a significant challenge for Spar as demand jumped abruptly and explosively, making it difficult to deal with the usual levels of goods. At the same time, according to her, not only Spar but all store chains and traders have proved that they are able to supply the Hungarian population with food even in difficult times.
During the spring shopping fever, Minister of Agriculture, István Nagy spoke about the fact that Hungarian agriculture and the food industry produce many times more than the country can consume.
The National Chamber of Agriculture also announced in the spring that Hungarian agriculture and the food industry could continuously provide the quantity needed for demand.
Gabriella Heiszler also said in her summer statement that Spar is increasingly preparing for the fall and has a list of a few hundred essential items from which they made extra. According to market information and the words of György Vámos, the competitors also did so and are prepared for the rest of the year. The CEO of Spar also said earlier that she hopes customers are now aware that there is a steady supply of food and that retailers can provide sufficient supplies and therefore will not arrive in huge waves.
Many customers agree with this; this is already evident from the representative opinion poll conducted by Pulzus kutató in October. According to the survey, 50 per cent of Hungarians believe that there will be no buying bout because people learned from the situation in the spring when there was a temporary shortage of some products in several stores. Respondents say people are buying more soberly these weeks. It is true, however, that a third of those surveyed — 29 per cent — can imagine panic purchases if exit restriction came into effect again.