The german retail association (HDE) and google have launched a broad-based digitization program for retailers.
The "retail of the future" package is designed to help stores in german city centers, which have been hit hard by the corona pandemic, to develop from traditional retail outlets into hybrid businesses (offline and online). The association and the internet group announced in berlin on thursday that the stationary business will also be strengthened and made fit for the future with the help of online tools.
The corona crisis hit the retail industry hard, as many stores had to close temporarily and consumers feared infections. At the same time, the online trade experienced a boom. In the first half of 2020, the federal statistical office recorded particularly heavy losses among retailers of textiles, shoes, watches and jewelry, as well as booksellers.
HDE deputy chief executive stephan tromp said the pandemic was not solely responsible for retailers’ difficulties. "Corona is not the reason, but only the burning glass." Retailers with a digital foothold suffered significantly less during the crisis. "Those who are not visible to their customers on the smartphone are at a significant disadvantage."Every second retail store in germany does not have a website of its own. "We have a lot of catching up to do."
The initiative focuses on small retail businesses and store owners. In these hours of an own website or an e-commerce offer often lack of time or lack of know-how in the way. "This is where future trade wants to remedy the situation," said tromp. The offer can be taken up without gross financial or time investment and is available to all interested parties. Around 250 people are expected to take part in the campaign.000 individual dealers are contacted with concrete offers.
The "zukunfthandel" initiative is intended to help the store set up a professional website, including an online store, with the help of the german providers ionos 1&1 and jimdo. For this, only a symbolic price of one euro per month will be charged. Customers should be able to book offline services of the store online. When searching on your smartphone, you should also be informed that services and shopping facilities are available "nearby". In addition, retailers will be able to indicate online whether they offer delivery services or pick-up options.