The same procedure as last time: This is how you could sum up what Altena’s economic promoter Sara Schmidt told business people in the city center. Dealers find special ways to sell despite lockdown.
Altena – The current version of the Corona Protection Ordinance was only published on the morning (December 15), the most important passage for the retail sector is on page 12: “Only mail order and the delivery of ordered goods is permitted”, it says there and also that the collection of ordered goods is allowed at the shops if “it can be done without contact, taking protective measures against infections”.
Shopping in Altena: Picking up goods is allowed
Retailers already have experience with this. Similar rules applied to the first lockdown in the spring. “I will return the goods through the grille on the front door of my shop”, announced Alexander Schmitz from the electrical shop of the same name.
He has his employees deliver larger items such as televisions or washing machines, and that is also allowed. “Advice can be given in advance by phone,” says the retailer. Televisions are no longer given away, and nowadays music comes from the smartphone and no longer from the portable radio. “There is actually no real Christmas business for me any more,” says Schmitz.
Jewelry advice via video chat in Altena
Things look completely different at the Betzler jeweler, where the weeks before Christmas are the most important of the year and where they came up with something very special to make life and shopping easier for customers: customer advice via video chat.
“Let our team guide you virtually through your desired range and advise you as usual,” writes Sabine Schröder on Facebook. The prerequisite is that the customers report by phone, then a WhatsApp video conference is arranged, in which employees show the jewelry or watches in question.
“After consultation, we will deliver the goods to your home as a gift wrapped,” promises the company. “We are very excited to see how this will be accepted,” says Sabine Schröder.
Bookstore Katerlöh in Altena: Advice on the phone
In many families books belong under the tree – you can get them at Katerlöh, even today and on the other days up to Christmas. “Customers are welcome to call me and order the title they want,” says owner Gerlinde Fuhrmann.
Advice on the phone is of course also possible. The handover of the goods – if requested, of course, packed as a gift – and the payment then takes place contactless in front of the shop door. All information and current developments on the coronavirus in the MK can be found in our news blog.
Hardware by the back door
In the spring, Friederike Haar served her customers at the back door to the Lennepromenade. It remains that way this time too. She might even let some of her customers into the shop.
DIY stores and similar shops are allowed to open for sale to traders – and traders are the many craftsmen who buy their material in the hardware department of Zetzmann and Bröer. But she stays at the back door when the goods are handed out, she says: It’s safe and has proven itself.
Card payment is difficult
Incidentally, like many of her colleagues, Friederike Haar has a problem with card payments. The corresponding device is wired, the cord does not extend to the back door. That’s why she prefers cash at the moment, she says.