Geneva: Reopening of stores: the crowd rushed to the city

There were more people in the street than in the shops. They followed the rules, the customers too. Mostly young, they show fatalism.

“There are a lot of people..!” This Saturday afternoon, the first day of reopening of Geneva businesses after a month, the phrase comes back like a mantra. Indeed, the Rues Basses are packed. So full that in reality, the crowded mall is in the public domain. The authorities imposed an available space of 10 square meters per customer in stores. Because of the different entry limitation devices, we are there. In the street, on the other hand, the matter is much more doubtful, and to wander requires address.

Discipline, and limited expectation

The crowd, however, is disciplined. Wearing a mask is respected to almost perfection. The rare stunned are quickly called to order, with tact, by the municipal police, present in large numbers. “They mobilized a lot of firefighters”, also notes a man. Members of the civil protection are also present to avoid anarchic queues. Customers, in fact, follow instructions very well on their own. The flow probably helps. To enter most of the stalls, two or three minutes are enough. Inside, shopping is almost more enjoyable than in other years at this time, usually synonymous with a real rush. “There is room, eh,” slips to his son, delighted, a man in the video games department of the FNAC.

The longest queues are in front of stores frequented by young people and relatively inexpensive ones: Snipes, which sells sneakers, Swarovski, Zara, C&A. In the majority of cases, they do not exceed about thirty people. The longest meanders through Place du Molard, in front of Zara, where around seventy customers are pounding the pavement. In front of the FNAC, forty wait at 3:30 p.m. In front of Globus, ten. H&M swallowed up the thirty waiting onlookers in less than two minutes. At Manor, the main line, rue Rousseau, has fifteen individuals, and things are going at full speed. “I am amazed at the speed at which we entered,” said a man. At 4:00 p.m., the automatic counting system displays 1,660 customers, out of the 2,300 authorized – the supermarket is 23,000 m2.

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Manor had installed an automatic customer counting system, which was limited to 2,300.

20 minutes / day

It was at the approaches to Molard that the crowd was densest.

20 minutes / day

Stores targeting teens, like Snipes, which sells sneakers, were the most popular.

20 minutes / day

“In the trams there are 10’000”

In the Rues Basses, 15-30 year olds make up the vast majority of the crowd. They display a certain fatalism. “There are really a lot of people”, comments, like all the others, Rayan, 19 years old. He says he “doesn’t feel safe at all. There are 10,000 of us on the trams. People are rushing too much. OK, the stores must be open, but it’s not essential. ” Yet he bought a pair of sneakers. “Yeah, I took advantage, but I can buy online or live without it.”

“Everyone will catch the corona”

Ibrahim, 16, also considers his presence risky, but is not devastated so far. “They have opened all the businesses, and after Christmas they will close everything. Everyone will catch the corona. There, the financier takes precedence. I don’t feel safe, but we are attracted despite the risk. The price reductions, all that attracts us. ” It is the attitude that seems to prevail: the danger is there, but ultimately, since we can not help it, we might as well live carefree.

“People needed to get out”

“I have the impression that people needed to go out for a while,” analyzes Alain, 34, who is patient in front of Lacoste. His security? “I’m a taxi driver, so I don’t really care anymore. And then the stores filter well, so that there are not too many people inside. ” Kadri, 28, also believes that “people are less afraid and fed up. But they wear the mask, that’s good. Everyone needs to play along. I come from FNAC, they count people, they disinfect. It’s good. I feel rather reassured. ” A retiree walks around, no more panicked than that. “There are a lot of people, but everyone is wearing a mask. Myself, I put it on, even though I am not a follower. ” But he won’t buy anything this afternoon. “Me, I’m not ready to stand in line. I will wait for quieter days. ”

A group of teenagers talk loudly. “But there are too many people ..! And besides, it’s cold. Maybe we caught the corona. ” Funny, a thirty-something comments for his partner the scene of consumerism in which they participate. “Next weekend, everyone’s at home!”


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