Beverage wholesalers in Hauts-de-France have lost “at least 90% of their customers” with the closure of restaurants and bars
- Beverage distributors are hit hard by the economic crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic with the closure of bars and restaurants.
- As beverage distributors are still working a little by delivering certain customers such as communities, or nursing homes for example, they are not entitled to receive certain state aid.
- To make themselves heard, eighteen wholesalers from the Hauts-de-France region have just joined together in a consortium.
Restaurants, bars and nightclubs closed. For beverage distributors, the end of 2020 is a nightmare. Usually favourable for good business, the period is turning into an economic disaster for wholesalers who have lost big because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its restrictions.
“At least 90% of our customers are closed . Cafés, hotels, restaurants, football stadiums or even events, all these jobs are not working at the moment. As a result, most wholesalers have lost between 90 and 98% of their turnover, ”explains Laurent Pecqueur, Managing Director of Sodiboissons, which employs 104 people in Hauts-de-France.
A sector not eligible for the solidarity fund
However, beverage distributors are still working a little by delivering certain customers such as communities, or nursing homes for example. Insufficient to live on and penalizing to receive state aid. Because the sector has not been administratively closed. Suddenly, despite the colossal loss of turnover, he is not entitled to receive certain state aid .
“If we benefit from partial unemployment, we do not receive any help from the solidarity fund, while our situation is very worrying. We ask to enter this fund without restriction. It’s a question of survival. If we are not treated in the same way as our closed customers, there will be a lot of breakage among beverage wholesalers in 2021. We are clearly one of the corporations most affected economically today, ”continues the boss. of Sodiboissons.
Another consequence of the lack of activity: stocks are full of returnable products which will soon reach their expiration date. Rather than throwing them away, professionals would like to be able to sell these stocks to the general public or by donating them to associations.
Demonstration on December 14th in Lille
To alert the public authorities to the economic drama which is playing out, eighteen beverage wholesalers in the region have decided to come together in a consortium. Monday, December 14th, with other players in the world of events, they will demonstrate in Lille from Place de la République to the regional council where they intend to make their demands heard in peace.
“We don’t want to lay the groundwork, just establish a dialogue to find regional solutions to our situation and deal with it on a case-by-case basis. We are very aware of the health situation, we are not asking for the reopening of bars and restaurants. We just want to remind that we exist because we will not find full activity right away, ”recalls Laurent Pecqueur who hopes that the message will be heard quickly. The future of an entire sector is at stake.