Dispute over assortment – flowers yes, shoes no – how the sales compromise came about

Unlike in the first lockdown, garden centers and flower shops will remain open this time. Part of the responsibility for this: the successful lobbying of the top trades.

Houseplants and cut flowers may also be sold in lockdown according to the Federal Council ordinance.

Houseplants and cut flowers may also be sold in lockdown according to the Federal Council ordinance.

Photo: Salvatore Di Nolfi (Keystone)

Ab next Monday we are no longer allowed to buy shoes in Switzerland, but bouquets of flowers can. We are allowed to go to the hardware store, but not to the furniture store. We can buy stationery and pens in stores, but not sportswear.

With the second lockdown, we will not only face new restrictions, but also new delimitation problems. The ordinance of the Federal Council provides that business only Sell ​​short-term and daily necessities allowed to. Which these are, gehts out from a list in the appendix.

It is noticeable that the regulation is significantly less restrictive than those in the first lockdown: At that time stayed Florists, stationery and hardware stores too. At the same time, what is possible and what is not is defined more precisely: In the spring ofit ariated from branch to branch at the major distributorswhether the shelf with the frying pans was locked or freely accessible.

Biglers Lobbying

The lobbying of the Swiss Trade Association (SGV) is largely responsible for the new regime. As early as December he was haggling with the federal government, Migros und Coop and the Swiss Retail Federation about a compromise.

Trade director Hans-Ulrich Bigler says: «It was important to us, ensure that small and medium-sized retailers are not simply marginalized this time around.» When the hardware stores were closed in the spring, the SGV had massively opposed the decision, and a discussion followed Minister of Health Alain Berset. “We welcome the fact that the federal government has now sought discussion with us in the course of the new regulation”, so Bigler.

“Problems of demarcation are inevitable as soon as the state intervenes in the economy.”

Hans-Ulrich Bigler, Director of the Swiss Trade Association

The Roles were clearly assigned in the negotiations: If the retailers Coop and Migros were interested in being able to continue to offer as large a part of their product range as possible, the trade association wanted to avoid closing down as many retailers as possible.

The so-called Aargau model was rejected, according to which nur die Shops could have stayed open, around two thirds of which consist of everyday goods. This variant would have given the large distributors a clear advantage over the small shops.

“The result is a compromise that we can easily accept,” says Bigler. Nevertheless, sporting goods dealers would haveis, Fashion stores, watch and jewelry dealers now a “huge problem”. “But demarcation problems are inevitable as soon as the state intervenes in the economy.”

Hans-Ulrich Bigler (left), director of the trade association, and Fabio Regazzi, the president, at a congress at the end of October 2020.

Hans-Ulrich Bigler (left), director of the trade association, and Fabio Regazzi, the president, at a congress at the end of October 2020.

Photo: Photo: Jean-Christophe Bott (Keystone)

The IG Retail trade, made up of Coop, Migros and Denner, is taciturn on request. About the outcome of the negotiations, Patrick Marty, the head of the office, only says: “We have taken note of the annex to the ordinance, which describes everyday goods, and will implement the requirements accordingly.”

Kiosk open again on Sundays

The Federal Council surprised on Wednesday also with the announcement, that shops, gas station shops and kiosks ain the evening after 7 p.m. and aMay reopen on Sunday. HansUlrich Bigler welcomes the move: “We have always said: If you want to reduce the frequency, you don’t have to reduce the opening times, but on the contrary, expand them for better distribution.”

Nevertheless, there remains a bitter aftertaste: The U-turn shows that the BAG sometimes flies blind, criticizes Bigler. “You didn’t extinguish where there was a fire, you simply sprinkled a large area of ​​water with luck.» The waiterste Swiss commercial worker stakes the position: The retail trade sNo no cluster – most contagions would take place elsewhere.

Posted today at 5:39 pm

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