Queen Máxima paid a digital visit to non-food retail entrepreneurs on Thursday, showing her support for the retail industry that has been heavily hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen’s visit included staff from INretail, an entrepreneurial group that supports businesses, and small- and medium-sized businesses within the Netherlands. The retailers who were on the call included Schutrups Exloo, SuperBra, Intersport Megastore Roermond, Weggemans Bruidsmode Emmen, Studio Blique and De Donjon Meubelen Eindhoven.
INretail wrote on their Facebook page that, “Among other things, the Queen expressed her support for [non-food retail businesses] and emphasised her sympathy with all entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. Thank you for your valuable input!”
Studio Blique also shared on their Facebook page that speaking with Queen Máxima was a “special experience that hopefully leads to better collaborations in the retail chain.” De Donjon Meubelen Eindhoven wrote on their Facebook page that it was a “particularly warm conversation about entrepreneurship in this turbulent time.”
During the chat, Queen Máxima learned about “missed sales in December, which often generates a large part of the seasonal turnover. Companies are left with unsold (winter) stocks and miss the money to pay for the spring collection that will be delivered around this time.”
According to the Royal House, “Some entrepreneurs have been able to make arrangements with suppliers, but the fixed costs will continue to run. The government fees provide relief, but the monthly costs exceed the allowances and put great pressure on the liquidity of the company.”
The Queen also heard about “a number of entrepreneurs cannot claim the fixed costs allowance TVL, with a loss of at least 30% turnover. For whom October was still a reasonably good month, the 30% is not achieved because it is assessed quarterly.”
Finally, Queen Máxima discussed how working from home has impacted the entrepreneurs and their stores. INretail notes that “Two corona waves and two lockdowns are an attack on the reserves of entrepreneurs in these industries, including clothing, shoe and sports stores and furniture stores. Many companies that are financially healthy are now heavily negatively affected.”
The Queen has conducted many engagements this month surrounding the financial stability of businesses—both in the Netherlands and around the world, having paid an online visit to Senegal earlier this month—as a result of the coronavirus.