Press Conferences

Epicenter K opposes severe quarantine restrictions for businesses, large shopping centers

KYIV. Jan 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Epicenter K Group of Companies opposes strict quarantine restrictions for business and proposes to amend the terms of trade in shopping centers during the lockdown.

"In order for everyone to be in equal conditions, it is necessary to remove the 60% figure restriction... Make changes that will allow the sale of permitted goods without limiting the areas where such goods are traded, as well as the list of permitted goods must include goods for insulation, heating, and plumbing equipment. These are goods that are simply necessary for the population," Head of the security service at Epicenter K LLC Ivan Chernonoh said, making this proposal at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

According to him, the government's ban on the sale of non-food products in areas, less than 60% of which are intended for trade in food, is aimed at "destroying our large shopping centers, and in particular Epicenter." He said that it is easier to take epidemiological safety measures on a large area than in small stores.

The company expects a reduction in turnover during the January lockdown by UAH 3-4 billion.

"We have calculated that during this lockdown we will lose about UAH 3-4 billion in turnover, and will underpay UAH 261 million in taxes and mandatory payments," Chernonoh said, adding that in 2020 the company paid UAH 5.6 billion in taxes.

At the same time, in Europe, the majority of DIY hypermarkets are recognized as strategic enterprises to provide the population with essential goods and they continue working under quarantine conditions, Halyna Hereha, the founder and head of Epicenter K LLC, said.

"Tell me, does Epicenter sell luxury goods? Or do we offer goods on our shelves that are not essential goods? We also sell strategic goods that every family needs every day," she said.

At the same time, Epicenter shopping centers strictly adhere to the established restrictions and operate online and with targeted delivery, Deputy Director General of Epicenter K LLC Volodymyr Honcharov said.