Economy & Politics

Pick-up offers in retail are allowed again in the southwest

The trade can again make products available for collection. (Symbol image) Photo: Lichtgut / Julian Rettig

In the lockdown, most of the shops have to remain closed. Dealers are allowed to deliver, but for many this is hardly practical. The state government is now helping them a little.

Stuttgart – The state government in Baden-W├╝rttemberg wants to extend the corona lockdown, but will again allow pick-up offers in stores from next Monday. The Corona regulation will be changed so that the so-called Click & Collect service will be possible again, government spokesman Rudi Hoogvliet told the German Press Agency in Stuttgart on Tuesday. Customers could order goods online or by phone, arrange a pick-up date and pick up the goods themselves. The trade association, which had been calling for this for weeks, was delighted – even if the traders really needed the opportunity for Christmas, as General Manager Sabine Hagmann said.

Pick-up offers were banned in the southwest in the course of the corona lockdown over Christmas in order to avoid long queues in front of the shops and thus additional contacts. Dealers were allowed to deliver themselves or have them delivered. It is certain that the lockdown will be extended beyond the originally planned January 10th. That would mean that most traders – with the exception of grocery stores – would have to keep their shops closed.

Hagmann: I never understood the argument for the collection ban

Hagmann said they never understood the argument for the collection ban. Denying this option to dealers with their backs to the wall was tough. “That hurt our medium-sized companies a lot,” she said. Deliveries were “insanely complex and insanely expensive”. Hagmann assumes that many shops will now offer a pick-up service, especially many booksellers, toy stores and electronics stores – but actually everything that you can pick up and take with you when you are in town anyway.

Economics Minister Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut (CDU) described the release of pick-up offers as “very gratifying and overdue”. “This can at least somewhat mitigate the special retail sacrifices associated with the closure,” she said. “This freedom can generate at least a small part of sales in lockdown,” emphasized the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Wolfgang Grenke.

Extension of the lockdown is “really catastrophic”

Hoffmeister-Kraut had always spoken out in favor of pick-up offers. Before Christmas, there was a dispute with Health Minister Manne Lucha (Greens) on the open stage because the government had given another line at the time.

Hagmann from the trade association described the extension of the lockdown as “really catastrophic”. The longer it lasts, the more permanent closings of stores can be expected – in the worst case around 12,000 in the next two years.

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