A fashion shop in Baden-Wurttemberg’s Emmendingen has started selling toiler paper, as well as other essential supplies, in order to stay open despite COVID-19 restrictions in a bid to survive the pandemic and as form of creative protest against what some retailers regard as illogical rules.
Owner Marcel Jundt talked about the changes at the Blum-Jundt fashion house on Monday, after the store reopened as the ‘toilet paper flagship store’ on Friday.
“As a salesperson, you always try to optimise your products in an economic way, so we did a market analysis and found out that the main product used in the crisis or the pandemic in Germany is toilet paper,” Jundt explained.
Packs of toilet paper and disinfectant bottles but also coffee, pasta or chocolate bars could be seen on display around the reconverted store with signs encouraging customers to buy more.
“As a clothing store, we had to close again after a short period of time and the only possibility to change our closure was basically a reorganisation of the assortment to be able to reopen as a drugstore and grocery store,” Jundt said, something that the customers have reacted to very positively and ‘in large numbers’ according to him.
Non-essential shops had to close in Emmendingen again last week after the incidence of new coronavirus infections was over 100 per 100,000 inhabitants for three days in a row in the district, with Jundt’s store being able to circumvent the measures by dedicating 60 percent of its floor space to essential items.
In a statement online the business poked fun at what they regard as the lack of logic behind the regulations, which sees bookshops and DIY shops allowed to remain open while other retailers must stay closed.
“There seem to be product ranges and business models that are epidemiologically less dangerous for customers than others,” said the statement.
“Our empirical studies over the past few months have led us to the realisation that the sale of food and drugstore items does not encourage the spread of the virus, because otherwise there would have to be regulations in such forms of distribution with regard to the number of customers and the frequency of visits,” it continued.
Germany is in the grip of a third wave of coronavirus infections with relaxations of the current restrictions that were planned for Easter looking unlikely to take place, after the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants hit 103.9 on Sunday.
The German government, which has defended the restrictions as necessary to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed, had earlier set 100 per 100,000 as the threshold at which recently relaxed lockdown rules would have to be tightened again.