“If we are closed, we are killed”: the rant of a “non-essential” shopkeeper

“They are sacrificing us, they are pillorying us!” ” : Cathy Gueguen, manager of a cosmetics store in Anglet, launched a cry of anger, supported by more than 500 traders from the Basque Country, gathered in front of the sub-prefecture of Bayonne, to ask the government to “Review your copy” on the closures of so-called non-essential businesses during containment.

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Unhappy to be called “Non-essential”, traders from different towns in the Basque Country, such as Bayonne, Biarritz or Saint-Jean-de-Luz want to reopen ” as soon as possible “. “We don’t want the Covid to kill us in any other way”, declared Catherine Gueguen, manager of a cosmetics brand in Anglet. “There is no choice, we have to redefine”: the secret story of a decision that nobody wanted

All of them have Christmas time in their sights. “Our stocks are ready, we have everything in before containment, we will file for bankruptcy if we are not allowed to work”, according to the shopkeeper.

The “click and collect” will not solve everything

“We are told about digitization, but it is for tomorrow. We are dying today ”, launched Georges Strullu, head of the Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (CGPME) which, like all the demonstrators, targets online sales platforms. For those who were able to set it up, the “Click and collect” will not solve everything.

“It’s sprinkling, it will save us 10% at best”, regrets Catherine Gueguen.Laurent Berger: “We must deconfin ourselves from hatred and bullshit”

“We do not ask for help for the Internet, we will never achieve what large groups do, we just want to work”, added Peio Guelot, manager of a household appliance store in the interior. “Our stores are what makes the diversity and the territorial network! “, he added.

Medef, CPME and professional federations are calling for a reopening of shops “from November 13”

Questions in the event of new confinement

Many protesters said “Sacrificed”, and in the uncertainty of what will come next.

“Under what conditions are we going to be deconfined? How can we resume? What will happen in the event of a third or fourth confinement? “, asked Serge Istèque, representative of traders from Biarritz who regrets “That no lesson has been learned from the first confinement”.Gilles Pialoux: “We will have to prioritize patients if we remain in this semi-confinement”

For Marie Jimenez, at the head of a beauty shop, the promises of aid and support from the State are not enough either. She prefers “Rather work”. “Loans are very nice, but you have to pay them back. I prefer to remain independent, as I have always been ”, did she say.

With this new confinement, restaurants, bars and shops are judged “Non-essential” must keep the curtain down. Hard hit in the spring, many merchants entered with apprehension in this new putting under cover despite an easing which allows them to remain open for the withdrawal of orders in store.

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