Supermarkets may disappear entirely from the cities. TheParty of Regions proposes dismantling and allowing to build newones only outside city limits, writesKommersant-Ukraine.
Only food storesof up to 300 square meters will remain in the cities. At that theretailers will have to refrain from imported products and ensurethat 80% of the range is domestic goods. The participants of theretail market call the prospect catastrophic.
The factioncolleagues of the author are ready to prevent it from being passed.The bill N2067 "On stimulating the development of domestic marketof food products," was registered by Party of Regions singleconstituency deputy Oleh Tsariov. The document calls on adoptinganti-market regulations - limit the retailers in all cities andtowns. Only food shops and mixed shops (food and non-food items)with a total area of 300 square meters will be able to operate inthe city. Supermarkets and hypermarkets will be brought at least 5kilometers outside the settlements.
They will have alimited work schedule: customers can buy goods only from Monday toSaturday, and only from 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. Sunday and publicholidays should be made mandatory days off. Mode of operation ofthese stores will be subject to change by local authorities attheir discretion. Retailers will have a transition period for"redevelopment of the premises or reconstruction of the grocerystores" - they will be given a year after the entry into force ofthe proposed legislation, if it is to be supported by theParliament. Such reform, says Tsariov is necessary for thedevelopment of small and medium-sized businesses, since now, themajor chains are trying to destroy them. Market participants callthe bill "strange," and its realization -"unreal."
According to theCFO of Velyka Kyshenia Oleh Piavka only Kyiv has over a hundredshopping areas of over 300 square meters. This category includesthe so-called "convenience stores".
"In contrast toEurope, in Ukraine not everyone has a car to go shopping every dayoutside the city. Given the quality of roads and traffic jams inKyiv, providing people with even essential goods will beproblematic," said Mr. Piavka.
According to him,in Europe there is the economic feasibility to locate shops outsidethe cities, where land is cheaper and it is easier to find asuitable site. According to representatives of retail chains thelaw will bring nothing but nuisance to consumers and supermarkets.There is practically no space for new construction, and in additionfood prices will rise.
"It will be adisaster. 300 sq. m. is like a kiosk. You can buy bread, milk andvodka, and what about the rest? Consumer's demands for other goodscannot be met," says another angered market participant "and it isnot true that there are such restrictions in Europe. Maybe in thecenter of Saint-Tropez and Paris, where the author of the bill goeson vacation it is difficult to put a supermarket because of thehistoric sights but to remove the shops from the city isheresy."
The deputies ofthe Parliamentary Committee for Enterprise, Regulatory andAntitrust policy are also cautious in regard to the initiative.According to the head of the Committee of Oleksandra Kuzhel(Batkivschyna), with the development of large retail chains every1-2 thousand entrepreneurs lose their jobs. But she quickly addsthat such a law would have been relevant 15 years ago - that's whenit could have saved the city from the chaotic building. The authoris late with this bill. Now there is nowhere to move them and itwill look like sweeping the market," she said.
First deputy headof the committee Vladyslav Lukianov (Party of Regions) considers ita comeback to the end of the 1990s when the small kiosks tradingfood were developing.
"I have greatrespect for the author, but it is unlikely that he will besupported because it is an invasion of private property. This islike closing a big enterprise and opening up a lot of small ones,"he concluded.
Oleh Tsariovadmits his bill is harsh and he is ready for compromise: sincecompensations for relocation of supermarkets is not provided in thebill, he offers for the bill to cover only newchains.