No time right now?
Shopping with advance notice – this requires a rethink for many customers and the bottom line is that it can hardly be worthwhile for retailers. And already the first court forbids Click & Meet with a court judgment.
The shops have been open again for a few days – more or less at least. The federal and state governments have agreed on a solution called Click & Meet for the majority of the retail segments in the cities: per 40 square meters of retail space, only one customer with an accompanying person from the same household can access the store – and only after prior registration. Appointments are made online in some shops, and by telephone in others – an uncomfortable solution for shopping and one that is hardly practical for many situations. The dealers are still experimenting with the allotted time, they are still considering how to reduce the no-show rate as much as possible.
The German Retail Association (HDE) is naturally critical of all of this: According to a survey of 1,100 retailers, 91 percent want to take their chance and offer this to customers, but for many the effort is not in a reasonable proportion to the benefit. As a result, 37 percent of retailers see the idea of time buying as negative or very negative – there is little or no sales effect. The fact that many retailers have decided to do so has on the one hand to do with the fact that Click & Collect is already offered in many shops, so that part of the workforce is there anyway. On the other hand, the loss of trade is forcing many business people to do so. In a recent HDE survey on the situation of companies last week, almost half of downtown retailers stated that they would have to file for bankruptcy this year without further aid payments.
Click & Meet doesn’t work for every product
But for retailers, the Click & Meet concept is quite difficult to implement, depending on the product group. While such pre-registrations seem to work quite well, especially in areas such as clothing and shoes, a manager from the furniture sector reports that this is much more difficult for higher-priced goods that you don’t “just look at”. On the other hand, the Internet has caught a lot with goods that are easier to display, and customers are now usually much better prepared when they come to the store.
But especially with smaller business premises it is a problem if only a few customers are allowed to be in the store – then the advice is right, but not the relationship between consultants and customers from the point of view of the retailer. From a purely mathematical point of view, all of this is madness, explains one seller behind closed doors, but the alternative of closing is not a real one given the current sales situation.
Retailers who already rely on Click & Collect or – even better – run their own web shop, have clear advantages here because networking becomes possible and the customer may simply go one step further than with Click & Collect. After all, he can look at a few variants without buying them right away – currently one of the few advantages over online trading. Overall, as the conversations with business people have shown, improvisation remains the most important motto.
Court tips Click & Meet in Saarland
In the meantime, there are already the first changes to the Click – & – Meet regulation: In Saarland, which only recently made a name for itself with a poorly thought-out and hardly effective move to ban advertising flyers for certain product groups, the Saarbrücken Higher Administrative Court has now decided that the corresponding ordinance of the state government will be repealed. The fact that, the judges ruled, contradicts the principle of equality and is not proportionate even in the pandemic. The same court had already prevented some special regulations during the second lockdown, such as the closure of tattoo and piercing studios.