The shelves of German stores and supermarkets are becoming more and more empty – you can read in the media across the Oder region. So we went to the border town of Pasouk and visited four large stores of leading chains – Aldi, Edica, Rio or Kaufland.
There were empty shelves everywhere. However, the situation was nowhere near as dire. Shopping was possible, although not all products were always available. This does not mean that the situation cannot change soon. Store employees keep saying “the holidays are in jeopardy again.”
What are empty shelves in Germany made of?
All because of strikes in the logistics industry. Warehouse workers are demanding wage increases of several percent and are organizing “warning strikes.” The talks are scheduled to continue in early December. Of course, the unionists did not choose this date by chance. The period before Christmas is harvest time for trade. Warning strikes are already disrupting the industry. A “full” strike before Christmas would have dire consequences. Therefore, the agents do not fully believe that the “nuclear option” will be achieved. However, it cannot be denied that our neighbour’s Christmas trade is at risk. Another problem is that fresh products that are not delivered to stores simply spoil in warehouses.
For now, supermarket customers we spoke to say it’s worth staying calm. However, it should be noted that the problem of deliveries has not yet reached the eastern part of the country we visited with such severity. German media confirm that the largest strikes occurred in North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria. Stores there are also being hit by the biggest shortage.
The rest of the article is below the video
“We’ve had empty shelves for years.”
A customer of the Kaufland chain said that there is no need to be afraid of empty shelves, because… Germans have had empty shelves for years. Specifically for a period of three years. It started with the pandemic crisis. At the beginning of the lockdowns, people started to panic that there would be shortages of goods. They ran to stores and bought, among other things: toilet paper, pet food or canned goods. Then the epidemic caused a logistical crisis and a rapid rise in prices. There was a shortage of articles again. Then came the war in Ukraine and supplies of some products were disrupted, for example rapeseed oil. For some time, this product was simply not available in many stores in Germany.
Although the rapeseed crisis was overcome, it turned out that this was not the end of the problems. The difficult market situation led to… “Trade wars” began between food companies and large chains. Rewe quarreled with Kellogg’s and Ritter Sport, Edeka with Coca-Cola and Mars, and Kaufland with Pepsi. Manufacturers argued that their products in stores should be more expensive, otherwise they would not be able to break even in times of high prices. Supermarkets did not want to agree to this because they claimed that when prices rose, customers would be more willing to shop at the cheapest discount stores.
These problems are still not resolved. Therefore, there is a risk that we will not find specific products when shopping. We tried to ask about Pepsi products in the Kaufland chain. “None of that,” the seller replied. Salespeople at other chains – Rewe and Aldi – told us the same thing. One customer said that nowadays if you really want to do the shopping you want, “you have to visit at least four stores from different chains.”
See also: We looked at the bills. It looks worse and worse [Koszyk zakupowy Business Insidera i aplikacji PanParagon]
Customers from German cities are waiting for developments and sometimes wonder whether the risk of “Christmas paralysis” will materialize. Those who live in the east of the country are in a comfortable position anyway – they can go shopping in Poland. This “shopping tourism” has become very popular recently due to price reductions at Polish gas stations. So shopping and refueling can be combined very cheaply. Now, say customers of German stores, the “main motivation” for such trips has disappeared, but who knows, maybe it will return with subsequent waves of the “shelves crisis.”
Author: Mateusz Madejski, journalist at Business Insider Polska
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