The second lockdown from December means considerable cuts for the timber retail trade and for many companies sales losses of 50% or more – deliveries that have yet to be processed or “click & collect” only offer a rudimentary compensation.
Even the increasing share of online sales cannot compensate for in-store business. Things are only going better for those companies that also operate wholesalers in addition to retailing wood.
The German Timber Trade Federation (GD Holz) is therefore demanding that political decision-makers provide a perspective for opening up business. Especially with the beginning of the spring season from mid-February, depending on the weather, wood retailers also offer many products for the design of outdoor areas and gardens – an offer for the end consumer for recreational activities in the yard and garden offers a welcome compensation in the hard lockdown times – the opening of the companies should therefore be made possible on a manageable time axis.
The opening perspective is particularly important for all sales channels with wood, because during the first lockdown in the majority of federal states DIY stores were allowed to remain open, which have an overlap in the range of wood products, whereas the wood retailers had to close. This led to an unreasonable distortion of competition, which GD Holz believes should not be repeated. GD Holz represents a large number of small and medium-sized companies in the timber retail trade that are run by the entrepreneurs themselves.
The association points out that the timber retail trade usually has large-scale exhibitions at which the usual hygiene concepts have always been implemented in accordance with the current regulations after the first lockdown. Exhibition areas, advice areas, specialist market centers and logistics areas are generously designed and allow enough space and distance for information, advice and sales. In addition, the typical timber retail trade is not closed up with shelves, but has large open spaces, such as the exhibition for floors – presentations of high-quality wooden floors need space and thus offer freedom. Large ceiling heights and window areas also enable good ventilation. Studies on the spread of the virus also assume that retail outlets are involved in the transmission does not matter.
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