An associate economic professor at the University of Tartu says the state should intervene in the food retail sector, including by setting mandatory closing times for large supermarkets.
The academician, Viktor Trasberg, claimed that food prices are disproportionately high in Estonia because there were too many stores and they are open long hours.
"Estonia has 1.3 square meters of retail space per person; Germany has 1.4. Yet purchasing power is many times lower, which could signal that there is just too much retail space," he wrote in a Postimees opinion.
He said "most" Estonian cities were seeing a situation where stores did not have enough shoppers, preventing them from lowering prices. To remedy that, he suggested stores should have to close earlier and on Sundays.
"All of the world's progressive midnight shoppers will ask: can't we buy bottled water at midnight? The right answer is no, because we are not rich enough as a society for that," he concluded, advocating for higher-priced kiosks to remain open at later hours.