POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Vouchers website to support local business



Shops in the centre of Luxembourg City. The new Kaaft Lokal platform allows customers to support their favourites stores during the coronavirus shutdown. Romain Gamba

Shops in the centre of Luxembourg City. The new Kaaft Lokal platform allows customers to support their favourites stores during the coronavirus shutdown. Romain Gamba

Kaaft Lokal is a brand-new platform that allows customers to buy coupons to use when stores reopen.

The Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce (CLC) said it would launch Kaaft Lokal as a support tool for local retailers that have been forced to close because of restriction of movement measures. The idea is that customers can buy vouchers now that will help a business with cash flow during the crisis, and they can then redeem the voucher for goods or services when stores open again.

“The main objective is to provide liquidity to merchants,” explains CLC deputy director Claude Bizjak. Various retailers, from clothing stores to home décor outlets, have been experiencing difficult if not catastrophic situations. They have to pay suppliers while can no longer being able to sell, and some items may have gone out of fashion, and will thus be unmarketable, after confinement.

Not everyone has access to government support. The site gives consumers the opportunity to “support the businesses they want reopened”, the CLC says. Bizjak does not yet know how many retailers will eventually register to be part of the platform, but says it is open to businesses who are not members of the confederation. Any trade whose point of sale is closed or whose activity is severely reduced is allowed to register. “We propose local communes and retail federations to use it as a tool,” he added.

The CLC commissioned Power Lab in Rumelange to set up the website and will take a 10% commission from each donation to finance the operation of the platform. The coupons range in value from €5 to €100 and will be valid for two years. However, if the company for which vouchers have been purchased goes bankrupt in the meantime, they will be invalid. The CLC says that payments made via Kaaft Lokal will be forwarded to merchants within 48 to 72 hours.

This article was originally published by our sister publication Paperjam and has been translated from the French. The original article can be viewed here.