Tegut boss calls for shorter opening hours to save energy

Dhe boss of the supermarket chain Tegut, Thomas Gutberlet, wants to shorten the opening hours of his branches. In the future, these will only be open until 8 p.m. to save energy. Some of the approximately 270 markets in Germany are currently open until 10 p.m. This move would also help attract employees. "In the long term, it would make the job profile in retail more attractive again," Gutberlet told Lebensmittelzeitung.

According to figures from the trade association, electricity costs for retailers have increased by 150 percent since the beginning of the year. In addition, not enough young professionals wanted to work in supermarkets or retail stores. Every second owner therefore fears for his existence.

The increasing propensity to save among the population due to rising living costs is an additional burden on the retail trade. Reduced opening hours could be risky because it gives customers less time to spend their money. Tegut, which belongs to the Swiss cooperative Migros Zurich, has already reduced the opening hours of its service counters. Other supermarket chains have completely abolished them.

Gutberlet is not alone in his claim. As the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports, some markets of the Edeka Group in the south-west of the country temporarily close on Wednesdays at lunchtime. However, the reason for this is the shortage of staff and not the goal of saving energy. Similar proposals are being discussed in other areas of retail. At the beginning of the week, the Mittelstandsverbund ZGV recommended that its members in the furniture industry close their sales outlets on Mondays in order to save energy. However, many chains did not join this call.

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