The store had to close a day earlier this month after 10 of its 1,400 employees tested positive for Covid. This came as a surprise to Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Colauto, as only a day earlier had he spoken to the government’s public health body GGD about how staff should change face masks three times a day, as well as to limit the number of customers, to ensure social distancing, etc. security measures such as plexiglass screens.
“Since the stores reopened, we’ve done everything we can to create the safest shopping and working environment possible,” he says. “I regret the decision to temporarily close the store. This has a major impact for the Bijenkorf and also for the city.
Although the Netherlands has closed a handful of hotels and cafes that are believed to be breaking the rules to limit the coronavirus, the closure of De Bijenkorf has come as a surprise to others. As of March, the country’s approach has featured a light touch, asking citizens to work from home, stand 1.5 meters from others, and self-isolate when sick – with the broader goal of balancing the health of the nation with a once thriving economy.