​Greek retailer Electroniki becomes latest casualty of economic crisis

​Greek retailer Electroniki becomes latest casualty of economic crisis

Published at: 2016-04-18 13:27 | Author: CIJ Greece
The Greek home appliance retailer Electroniki shut down its 45 outlets across the country at the end of last week after a court ruled the company was bankrupt. Greek retailers have been hit hard by six years of economic recession and austerity in return for international bailouts, which have wiped out nearly a third of household disposable income. Electroniki employed 450 people, who now join the nearly one in four Greeks who are out of work.

The Athens-based retailer had been making losses since 2009, according to Reuters data. It filed for bankruptcy in March and an Athens court approve the request last week. "Despite the company's continuous efforts, economic conditions, a further weakening in consumers' purchasing power, capital controls - which have worsened foreign suppliers' distrust towards Greek businesses - along with creditors' stance make it impossible for the company to continue its operations," the firm announced in a statement.

Electroniki faced stiff competition from foreign rivals, including Britain's Dixons Carphone and Media Markt, owned by Germany's Metro. Greece imposed capital controls last June, before the country agreed to a third bailout of up to €86bn, putting further strains on businesses, and increasing the difficulty of securing credit from foreign suppliers and importing goods. Electroniki had accepted a restructuring plan last year with its creditors, suppliers and shareholders but developments in Greece after June 2015 resulted in a cash crunch.

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