Because of the energy crisis: Furniture stores are supposed to close on Mondays

Mhe Mittelstandsverbund ZGV is reacting to the precarious energy supply and politicians' calls for savings with an unusual measure. The specialist group for furniture and kitchen stores of the ZGV recommends that its members have a "Green Monday" for the period from November 2022 to March 2023.

During the cold and dark months of the year, the furniture retailers represented by the group should close regularly on Mondays to save energy. The appeal is aimed at a total of 12,000 furniture retailers, including 180 furniture stores with particularly large areas of 25,000 square meters and correspondingly high gas and electricity consumption for heating and lighting.

A press release from the association states: "By shutting down the heating and electricity systems in stationary retail from Saturday evening to Tuesday morning, corresponding savings potential should be raised." The individual furniture stores have joined together to form 15 groups in order to be able to buy cheaper goods from manufacturers . However, each house is otherwise independent and therefore decides for itself whether to take part in "Green Monday". Furniture stores and kitchen studios have a lot of customers, especially on the weekends, so the loss of sales if they were closed on Mondays would be manageable.

How do Ikea, XXXLutz and Höffner save?

So far, the industry's enthusiasm for the idea has been limited. The FAZ asked some furniture and kitchen retailers that they want to continue opening on Mondays. However, you have other ideas for saving electricity and heating costs. IKEA is the industry leader on the German furniture market and is not part of the ZGV. The Swedish furniture store also wants to present itself as a pioneer when it comes to sustainability. On request, the company will be happy to present its previous package of measures. All gas heaters in the sales outlets are to be replaced by heat pumps, the escalators are only to be operated when required and the roofs are to be equipped with photovoltaic systems. However, reducing the opening hours by one day a week is not yet part of it.

The second largest in the market, XXXLutz, also refers to the "numerous measures to save energy" that the company has already taken. Others are currently under review. "Closing our furniture stores by the day does not currently count," said a spokesman for the FAZ. The matter is also pretty clear for the competitor Höffner. When asked whether the company was considering a "Green Monday", its managing director Thomas Dankert answered succinctly: "We have no plans for anything like that!"

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