In view of the Corona crisis, Darmstadt’s retailers rely on the “digital showcase”. Photo: Torsten Boor
It’s difficult times for retail in Darmstadt. The shopping streets of the city center are temporarily dead, a similar picture can be seen in the districts. Most stores have to remain closed due to the Corona crisis. Many therefore offer pick-up and delivery services as well as the purchase of vouchers.
Now the state of Hesse has tightened the conditions for the sale again. In a message from the state government, it was no longer permitted to “pick up goods from the customer in the stationary trade”. An exception is the collection of food from restaurants.
A whole range of initiatives are being attempted in Darmstadt to help retailers to cushion the economic consequences. Citizens can find out about the shops’ offers during the crisis on several Internet platforms. For example, city magazines have put lists online that list local delivery services and online shops. Citymarketing has been offering retailers and restaurateurs the opportunity to present their businesses online with the “digital showcase” since last year. As a service, city marketing also lists the addresses of other platforms there.
“With the onset of the Corona crisis, we were able to fall back on a ready-made platform,” says city marketing manager Anke Jansen. More than 100 stores are listed in the “Digital Shop Window” with pictures and information such as opening times and delivery offers, the page is accessed more than 1500 times a day. Citymarket says “a multiple” of usage before the start of the corona crisis. The trade associations in the districts are also involved. An initiative to support local businesses has also been founded in Eberstadt, which now has its own website.
The self-designed online platform by Anna Sebrin and Alexandra Leinhos is still quite new. At esistsoschoenindarmstadt.de, Darmstadt shops and businesses can present themselves with text and images, similar to the “digital showcase”. With their sales and communication agency, the two Darmstadt residents are themselves affected by the restrictions caused by the corona pandemic. In her acquaintance there were helpless and desperate voices, says Leinhos. Many smaller shops would have no way to offer their goods on the Internet. The two women then quickly created their own website.
“Some of them have very precise ideas about the design,” says Leinhos, others get support from the two expert initiators. In any case, the campaign got around quickly, a little more than a week after the launch, the platform already counts around 100 entries. New ones are still being added every day, says Leinhos. Smaller shops, such as those in the city districts, are also supposed to come into their own.
In any case, retailers are happy about the digital advertising option. “It is going well, the phone is not standing still,” says Imke Karrock from the book guild on the market square. Her delivery service would be “very well received,” she says. She describes the platforms on the Internet as a “very great offer”, which, according to Karrock, make an important contribution to the great demand.
Sven Amann has launched another initiative to network the various offers. The computer scientist wants to bundle the various help offers for retailers and apply them even more intensively. For example, flyers that have already been distributed via social media are also to be printed and distributed in the city. “It’s great,” says city manager Anke Jansen: “A lot helps a lot”.
More about the corona virus
You can find our constantly updated overview of the situation in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate here, including current videos and background information from the cities of Wiesbaden, Mainz, Darmstadt, Giessen, Wetzlar, Worms and the entire greater region.
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With high-ranking experts from university medicine in Mainz, we broadcast two night lectures in live streams. Here is the record of March 19, and here the record of March 26.
We asked our readers for questions about infection routes and risks, infection routes and the course of the disease. The answers are here in a first part and here in a second part.
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