The German Trade Association (HDE) warns urgently of stricter requirements for the number of customers in shops – and calls for the current regulation to be adhered to.
Berlin – Before the German government’s Corona summit, the German Retail Association (HDE) warned of stricter requirements for the number of customers in shops. The regulation proposed by the federal government to allow only one customer for every 25 instead of ten square meters of sales area as was previously the case could lead to long queues in front of the shops and “in the end to new hamster purchases in the grocery store”, warned HDE Managing Director Stefan Genth. In addition, it is not in the interests of containing the pandemic if many customers are waiting in front of the shops in cold weather.
The HDE therefore called for the current regulation to be adhered to. “The hygiene concepts of the retail companies have proven themselves, there are no hotspots when shopping. So there is no reason to tighten the rules, ”said Genth.
Rewe boss Lionel Souque also spoke out against further restrictions on customer numbers in the markets. “If only 40 instead of 100 people are allowed to shop at the same time in a supermarket with 1,000 square meters of sales area, I fear endless queues and chaotic situations in front of the supermarkets before Christmas. That will neither protect against infections nor protect people’s health, ”he said in Cologne.
Edeka boss also warns of additional requirements
The head of the largest German grocer Edeka, Markus Mosa, also warned of additional requirements. “Queues cause unrest and endanger health at this time of the year. In the interests of the employees, we should avoid opening Sundays, but not reduce access to the shops any further, ”he said.
The district council also spoke out against a tightening. “It is alien to want to give every customer 25 square meters of space, 10 square meters is already quite lush,” said the President of the German District Assembly, Reinhard Sager, the “Handelsblatt”. A further tightening would particularly threaten many smaller businesses that are already in trouble. “As a rule, people would not wait outside in the cold for admission, but take the convenient route to online mail order,” warned Sager.
However, the German Retail Association still sees an urgent need for action in the area of aid measures for inner-city retailers. “Politicians must act now or they accept deserted city centers with their eyes wide open,” said Genth.