The perfumery chain Douglas originally left some branches open and given itself the appearance of a drugstore. Now she is reacting to criticism and anticipating the Frankfurt public order office.
Many Hessian branches of the Douglas perfumery chain were still open on Wednesday. This caused criticism from unions and other retailers. On Thursday, the company apologized and announced that all branches in Germany would be closed with immediate effect.
This, for example, came before the Frankfurt public order office, which had announced that it would examine the case. The public order office said that drugstores can continue to open, but perfumeries are not. The focus in the retailer’s range is decisive for the assignment. This decides in each case on the permissible opening or closing.
The Verdi union in Hesse had previously criticized the opening of individual branches in the Douglas chain. “The procedure is very disreputable,” said Bernhard Schiederig, Head of Retail at Verdi Hessen. According to a press release by the union, the perfumery is trying to mutate into a drugstore and is trying to circumvent the lockdown. During the first lockdown in spring, the Douglas branches were not open.
The reason for the criticism was an instruction from the management to the Hessian branches, which the union has. It said: “We are opening our stores under the context that we are a drugstore, since we have the range of daily needs and basic supplies.” The staff should primarily provide the drugstore range in the entrance area of the shops. Decoration and jewelry should disappear. The instructions also dealt with behavior in the event of a visit by the public order office.
Douglas said on Wednesday when asked by FR that all applicable regulations were being adhered to. A company spokeswoman said that it was planned to leave a small part of the branches open in lockdown. Drug stores are explicitly mentioned as exceptions in the resolutions, whereby the term drug store itself is not legally specified. “In common parlance, the term drugstore is understood to mean retail establishments that sell personal care, beauty, cosmetic and hygiene products, among other things,” it said. These products should be available in the stores that are open. The next day the company rowed back.
Meanwhile, the Frankfurt Ordnungsamt has announced that it will check retailers and other facilities for compliance with the Corona Contact and Business Restriction Ordinance, as it did with the first lockdown, and sanction them in the event of violations. In the spring there were isolated violations, but most of the companies adhered to the requirements.