Economy

Schiphol bypasses click and collect rules with government approval

Since February 10, stores that sell ‘non-essential’ products can again serve their customers via click and collect. If you want to buy something at a store, you can arrange this via a website or give them a call and the items can be picked up four hours later. Good news for the middle class, who can turn some turnover again.

Strict conditions

The relaxation of the corona measures is subject to strict conditions. “And whoever does not comply (…) will be closed,” said outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte at its announcement.

One of the most important conditions is the four hours between placing the order and picking it up. In this way, the cabinet wants to prevent shops from becoming too busy because people collect their orders at the same time.

Nevertheless, since last Thursday it has been possible to buy something from shops at Schiphol without having to wait four hours. At shops behind customs travelers can order and pay for something at the entrance, explains Willemeike Koster, spokesperson for Schiphol.

Then the items are delivered to the traveler. Where and when delivery takes place is agreed on site.

Important source of income

The income from the sale of shops at Schiphol is important to the airport. In 2019, before the corona crisis broke out, the company owed more than half of its operating profit.

In that year, the sale of food, drink and goods generated 206 million euros. In 2020, revenues from this sale decreased by 190 million euros due to the store and catering closings, according to the company’s annual figures. Schiphol suffered a loss of no less than 563 million euros last year.

Tolerated by the security region

The airport has consulted with the Kennemerland Safety Region about this plan, Koster says. And he has promised to tolerate it, says spokesman Marcel Duyvestein of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, which includes Schiphol.

The mayor of Haarlemmermeer is Marianne Schuurmans – Wijdeven, who is also the chairman of the Kennemerland Safety Region.

Checking the click and collect rules is not a priority in the security region, says Duyvestein. “Even if you deploy three times as many people, it is difficult to control. You cannot ask everyone to prove that someone actually ordered four hours ago.”

As long as it doesn’t get too busy, it has been agreed to tolerate, he continues. At the request of Schiphol, the tolerance policy is being stretched a little further there. “A different reality applies there: people go on a journey and cannot wait four hours, because they have to catch their flight.”

Enforce if it gets too busy

Nevertheless, the security region disputes that it is leading the airport over other entrepreneurs. “Whether at Schiphol or with an entrepreneur in Hoofddorp: if it is not busy, we will not maintain”, says Duyvestein. “If it does get too busy, enforcement will take place. And that also applies to Schiphol.”

According to the safety region, the click and collect rules are all about preventing crowds at shops. And the ‘service’, as Schiphol calls it itself, contributes to this, according to Duyvestein.

Keep shops closed

Another solution to avoid crowds is to keep the shops closed, but according to Duyvestein that is the responsibility of the entrepreneur himself. “If they mess up, then it is possible”, he adds.

He is not afraid that the tolerance will provoke fun shopping, it is still ‘a bit exaggerated to buy a ticket to do this’. In the shops at Schiphol Plaza, which are accessible to everyone, the rule is that there must be at least four hours between ordering and collection.

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