Cyprus Mail

Sales practices rife with ‘anarchy and irregularities’

Nicosia Mall Sales
Sales are used to entice customers, but Povek says there's no regulation (Christos Theodorides)

Irregularities have been recorded in sale times in Cyprus, the head of the small shopkeepers’ association (Povek) Stefanos Koursaris slammed on Thursday, calling for the government to step in.

Koursaris said that the issue arises because there is no law to regulate the times sales can be conducted in Cyprus.

“Since 2006, when the legislation on sales was abolished, there is anarchy, with each shop owner acting as he sees fit,” Koursaris said.

He added that of the 27 EU member states, 25 have a legislative or institutional framework, which is not the case in Cyprus.

According to Koursaris, this is when the question arises as to whether Cyprus is antiquated or too sophisticated, with the balance tipping towards the former.

Koursaris said that Povek has repeatedly asked the ministry of commerce to take the initiative to convene a meeting with the participation of consumer associations and employers’ organisations to discuss the adoption of a legislative regulation for sales and to find solutions to the problems that arise.

It is necessary to set specific time periods for sales, which can be four times a year, but also to give consumers the opportunity to compare prices and make purchases based on their financial capabilities, he said.

He added that sales were at risk of disappearing due to unfair practices on the part of business owners.

He explained that it is not possible for a shop to advertise discounts 365 days a year in its shop windows, which, he said is “a degeneration of the meaning of sales and creates suspicious consumers”.

Koursaris said that there is also ‘product-holders’ issue, which creates problems in the market and in healthy competition, to the detriment of the economy and the consumers themselves.

Commenting on Christmas prices, Koursaris said that there were complaints of increased prices before the holiday, which is an unfair practice.

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