Shops that do not contribute to everyday needs or medical care have been closed in Hesse since mid-March. This also presents many Darmstadt dealers with great difficulties. They literally had to close their shops overnight and have losses. That is why some are now delivering to the customer’s home.
Orders come by email or phone. Sometimes there are very special requests, other customers want advice. “I would like to have something for my six-year-old to tinker,” can be a customer request. Hofmann supports and advises customers, sometimes sends photos of games by email.
Online shop set up
The two women set up an online shop within six days, individual items of clothing are also presented on Facebook. Together with their men, they photographed the clothes and created a website.
So will the Internet, which is otherwise seen as an opponent of local trade, be saved? Under the hashtag #supportyourlocal, people around the world post pictures of how they support local businesses and restaurateurs. But Britta Karadzole does not see this as a contradiction that only arises in corona times. “Many small retailers tie themselves to online trading, for example at Amazon,” she says.
Nevertheless, it is something different whether you buy from a large dealer or support local businesses. “Personal advice is extremely important to customers,” says Karadzole. And even now in the corona crisis, orders in the bookstore would mostly come via email and telephone, not via the online shop. You have to go with the times, she says.
In addition, local businesses are not designed to offer their current delivery services over a long period of time. For many, this is just a temporary solution. Because although the sellers have a lot to do, profitability is still not entirely foreseeable. “This does not replace normal business,” explains Thorsten Hofmann, “sales are lagging behind.” The situation is similar with the other dealers. How big the damage will be in the end is currently not foreseeable. After all, you don’t know how long it will have to go on, says Hofmann.