The authorization for online retail sale ordered by the Government will allow a reactivation principle for companies dedicated to the items that had to close their premises due to social isolation due to the coronavirus, according to sectors consulted by Télam.
“It seems to us a reasonable measure. It is going to allow a small cash flow to enter. Argentina and the world are not going to be the same in the way of relating and in the way of marketing, therefore electronic commerce, which has been growing at a leaps and bounds, it is a good tool, “Secretary Argentina Chamber of Commerce (CAC), Mario Grinman, told Télam.
Last night, the national government published Administrative Decision 524/2020 in which it included as an exception to isolation the sale of ready-made merchandise from retail stores, through electronic commerce platforms, telephone sales and other mechanisms that do not require personal contact.
Sales must have as a home delivery modality with the appropriate sanitary safeguards, protocols and logistics planning and in no case may the aforementioned businesses open their doors to the public.
Grinman pointed out that this measure “we have been asking for it for a long time because inequality was taking place between excepted sectors such as supermarkets that sell food but also sell clothing and footwear. The shops that sell footwear were closed so there was a situation of absolute inequality.”
Until now, “online sales represent 5% of merchants’ cash flow. In Argentina, we still don’t have a culture of purchasing through the internet,” Grinman said, adding that “there are also logistics problems, delivery problems. and connectivity, not in the whole country there is good connectivity. “
“In the items that were with closed stores, the sale fell 100% in recent days, everything that was closed fell phenomenally. On average, the sale fell 60% or more,” he explained.
Regarding the situation of the shops with locals, he said that “we have conversations with some businessmen who already tell us that they are not in a position to continue.”
“In March there were difficulties, many businesses paid reduced wages of up to 50% and are still paying it in installments, given that in March they worked 20 days, the April salary will be much more difficult,” he said.
In this context, he considered it necessary for the Government to implement “0-rate loans so that the employer can return it, we are not asking for a subsidy but for credits.
For his part, the institutional director of the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce (Cace), Gustavo Sambucetti, told Télam that “we are very satisfied with the measure; we have been talking to the Government as we believe it is a way to reactivate certain companies , many of them SMEs that are in great need of having a flow of funds to pay salaries, rents and so on. “
“Electronic commerce without opening the premises can be done in a much more controlled operation. From the Chamber we put together a protocol for the safe assembly, transport and delivery of orders, and in this way we believe that part of the activity of these companies with limited risk, “he said.
Also, the director of Cace added that “the Government put together a page called ‘digital assistance network for SMEs’, in which all the chambers of the sector work together with the Government and companies and there they have a catalog of tools for start selling online. “
As for the items, he noted that “under normal conditions, if we take 2019, the most important item for online sales is tourism, which currently has withholdings from another place, then electro and technology that had been selling some products, more than normal , but could not deliver. “
He explained that from the quarantine, the online sale of supermarkets grew 300% and that of pharmacies increased 60%.
From the measure “the big difference will be in clothing and home, which is an item that not only has a lot of sales but also involves many companies of different sizes, especially medium-sized companies.”
“This is going to be very important because they were selling without being able to deliver and in the case of some companies that suddenly closed the branches, online sales went from 2/3% of total sales to 15/20% during this quarantine. “Sambucetti concluded.