Corona: Graphic shows effects on retail after loosening

  • The retail trade can open again. There can be no question of returning to normal. Demand remains weak.
  • This should also have to do with the fact that most Germans are still barely on the move, as a graphic in an internal government paper shows.
  • This is one of the reasons why the trade association is already demanding new government aid.

You can open again. Malls, shops, boutiques with less and those with more than 800 square meters of retail space. Nevertheless, there can be no question of a return to normality for German retailers. This is shown not only by a survey published by the Handelsverband Deutschland HDE this week, but also by a graphic from an internal government paper. The document, which provides the Ministry of Finance and the Economy with an overview of the economic situation, is available to

First, to survey around 500 retailers. According to this, 55 percent of the companies surveyed expect at most half of the previous year’s sales for the past week. The trend in the reopened stores is particularly weak in clothing retail. Here, one in five companies achieved no more than a quarter of the previous year’s revenue.

Corona apparently sells shopping

One of the main reasons for this may be that many Germans are still afraid to go shopping for fear of corona infection – especially since the hygiene measures, including wearing masks, are much stricter than they were before Corona. This impression appears to be reinforced by a graphic that appears on page four of the government paper.

The basis is data on movement patterns that the search engine Google collects and evaluates. Accordingly, despite the easing, only a few more people have been shopping in recent weeks than during strict lockdown times. The difference to the pre-lockdown time is still clear. There is still a drop of more than 40 percent compared to March. But see for yourself:

Further movement data in important pedestrian zones, this time from the Central Real Estate Committee, indicate a similar trend. Take Neuhauser Strasse in Munich, for example. While there were almost 15,000 people an hour there during normal times on Saturdays at peak times, there were not even half as many on the first day of May.

Take Georgstrasse in Hanover, for example. Instead of the up to 10,000 passers-by per hour, fewer than 6,000 people were noted there on the first weekend in May.

Retail trade demands elimination of electricity tax

It should come as no surprise that retailers are under increasing pressure. The department store giant Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, for example, wants to close almost half of its branches. Of the approximately 170 houses, only 90 will remain. A similar fate threatens many other retailers should the lull continue this year. HDE managing director Stefan Genth also says: “The crisis is far from over for retailers.”

In order to absorb at least part of the losses, the trade association is now vehemently calling for the abolition of the electricity tax and a further reduction in the EEG surcharge, which finances the expansion of renewable energies. The association calculates that the electricity price could be reduced by five cents per kilowatt hour by 1.75 billion euros. A relief that the industry desperately needs in his view.

6 figures that show the extent of the corona crisis for the German economy


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