Ten-point plan Retail and the Corona Exit

von Denise Klug
Mittwoch, 15. April 2020
Most shops in Germany are still closed.
imago images / HMB-Media
Most shops in Germany are still closed.
In a ten-point plan, the German Trade Association, together with its state and federal trade associations, is making proposals for a gradual return to normality.

  1. Consistent, non-discriminatory guidelines

    "Relaxation of shop closures must not be based on the size of the business, sales area or retail sector. Otherwise this will lead to unfair competition, legal uncertainty and collective insecurity", says HDE managing director Stefan Genth. Retailers need consistent, clear and uncomplicated regulations.

  2. Clear communication on rules of conduct and hygiene measures

    State hygiene requirements and rules of conduct must be designed and monitored in such a way that retailers can implement them and at the same time maintain business operations. A "federal patchwork with a multitude of different interpretations of requirements by local health authorities" must be avoided at all costs.

  3. Restarting consumption, encouraging customers

    In order to revive consumer sentiment, which has recently fallen to an all-time low, the trade associations are calling for the issuing of consumer cheques for citizens and the complete abolition of the solidarity surcharge.

  4. Supporting companies financially

    Companies need a fitness programme in order to create a speedy and sustainable recovery process, says HDE. It is also essential to relieve them of unnecessary legal requirements such as statistical reports and reporting obligations and to waive unnecessary legislation.

  5. Emergency funds for small and medium-sized enterprises

    The HDE calls on the Federal Ministry of Finance to set up an emergency aid fund for small and medium-sized enterprises. The fund should offer specific assistance for payments such as rent claims or electricity bills. The aim must be to provide unbureaucratic support for these enterprises.

  6. Flexible labour laws, reduction of personnel costs

    The HDE's central demand is an extension of the period for receiving short-time work benefits to 24 months. At the same time, an unbureaucratic step-by-step increase in working hours during the period should be guaranteed. The unilateral ordering of leave by the employer is necessary. In addition, the simplified deferral option for total social security contributions (March and April) must be extended beyond the summer months. In cases of hardship, a genuine waiver of contributions from public funds is also required.

  7. Temporary liberalisation of shop opening rights

    The HDE is calling for a comprehensive, temporary liberalisation of shop opening rights. In particular, the opening of shops on Sundays should be permitted for a limited period of time in 2020 without conditions or restrictions.

  8. Ensuring logistical capacities

    The exceptions for the delivery of retail in off-peak and night-time hours should be maintained until further notice. A standardized nationwide regulation is absolutely necessary.

  9. Support for the city centre

    Genth: "A city centre fund is needed to protect the city centres from being sold out." Urban development funds should be expanded to 2021.

  10. Guarantee of the integrity of the EU Single Market

    After the phase of shop closures, the federal government must help the domestic economy back on its feet", said the HDE managing director.
    Coronavirus (Symbolbild)
    imago images / ZUMA Press

This text was originally published in German and machine-translated into English.

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