Retail warns of stricter targets for customer numbers

Retail warns of stricter targets for customer numbers

Ahead of the federal government’s corona summit, the german retail association (HDE) has warned against stricter targets for the number of customers in stores.

The federal government’s proposed rule of allowing only one customer per 25 instead of ten square meters of sales space could lead to long lines in front of stores and "in the end, to new hamster shopping in the food trade," warned HDE chief executive stefan genth. In addition, it would not be in the interest of containing the pandemic if many customers were to wait outside the stores in close proximity to each other in cold weather.

The HDE therefore called for the current regulation to be retained. "The hygiene concepts of the retail companies have been preserved, there are no hotspots at the shops. That’s why there’s no reason to tighten up the rules," genth said.

Rewe boss lionel souque also spoke out strongly against further restrictions on customer numbers in the stores. "If only 40 instead of 100 people were allowed to shop at the same time in a supermarket with a sales area of 1000 square meters, i fear endless queues and chaotic situations in front of the supermarkets before christmas". This will serve neither the protection against infections nor the health of the people," he said in koln.

The head of germany’s largest food retailer, edeka, markus mosa, also warned against additional requirements. "Queues cause unrest and endanger health at this time of year. In the interest of our employees, we should do without sunday openings, but not reduce access to the shops any further," he said.

On the other hand, the german retail association continues to see an urgent need for action with regard to auxiliary collections for inner-city retailers. "Politicians must act now or they will accept decaying inner cities with their eyes wide open," genth said.