Alain Griset, the French minister in charge of small and medium enterprises, said that nearly €200 million will be made available to the about 35,000 retailers of apparel, footwear, sporting goods and leather goods that are laden with unsold stock due to the Covid-19 related lockdowns.

In an RTL radio interview, Griset said that after meeting the representatives of the various retailing categories on March 19, “we have decided to set up a mechanism that has to be simple, comprehensible and easy to access” to address the issue of excessive stock. The government plans to allot to the retailers a sum equal to 80 percent to the funds received through a solidarity fund in November.

The monies are expected to be available by the end of April or early May. Under the proposed mechanism, retailers will not have to justify excess inventories.

Griset added that talks are still underway regarding the summer clearance period, but that in theory it could run from June 23 to July 20.