Because of the corona pandemic, firecrackers and rockets are no longer allowed to be sold this year. For manufacturers this means: they have to remove everything from supermarkets and discounters.
After the ban on selling New Year’s Eve fireworks, the major pyrotechnics manufacturers began to collect the goods that had already been delivered to retailers. The products would now be stored until next year, said the managing director of the Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry (VPI), Klaus Gotzen, on Friday. “When stored in a cool, dry place, fireworks have no expiration date and can be kept for a year or two,” he said.
According to VPI, the sale of New Year’s Eve fireworks is usually carried out on a commission basis. The goods remain the property of the suppliers until they are sold at Aldi, Lidl, Edeka and Co. What is not sold is picked up every year. “This year the rate of returns should be around 100 percent,” said Gotzen. However, the CPI does not expect any bottlenecks in storage capacity.
Storing fireworks causes additional costs
Fireworks manufacturer Weco, who claims to be the market leader on the German and European market, also emphasized that the storage capacities were sufficient. “We procure and produce the goods well in advance. We will have all the goods in stock for the turn of the year by September at the latest,” emphasized a company spokesman.
Accordingly, there is now enough capacity to accommodate the returns. However, the storage is associated with considerable additional costs for the company. According to the spokesman, Weco alone has 30 warehouse locations.
Loss of sales in the three-digit million range
According to the VPI, the fireworks manufacturers usually make around 95 percent of their annual sales in December. The sales ban would result in sales losses in the three-digit million range in the industry.
The chairman of the board and Weco managing director Thomas Schreiber therefore already warned last weekend of “insolvency of the entire branch of the economy” if the state does not give the branch a helping hand.
The sales ban is intended to reduce the number of accidents before and on New Year’s Eve and ensure that hospitals can primarily take care of corona patients. It is also intended to help ensure that people don’t party on the street.