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No access yet: Bonn DIY stores keep turning away private individuals

No access yet : Bonn DIY stores keep turning away private individuals

The DIY stores in Bonn are still only open to tradespeople. Private individuals can order goods for collection. Again and again, however, some try to circumvent the rules.

Bonn's DIY stores are still only open to tradespeople. Private customers - with the exception of garden centers - are not allowed to enter for the time being. For them, the order and pick-up system that many stores have introduced applies. However, not everyone complies with it.

The Würth branch in Endenich is a pure wholesale store. Only tradesmen are allowed to shop here. Because of the Corona regulations, the branch partly relies on a pick-up system. Also because the number of customers is said to have increased noticeably since the lockdown. "We have reduced access to a certain number of people. Usually, there are a maximum of three companies here, who have to wear protective masks and observe the distance rules," says a Würth employee. The service employee observes significantly more tradesmen coming to the branch.

Among the shoppers, there are also said to be private customers repeatedly trying to make a purchase. "Without success," as the employee elaborates. "We ask the customers directly for proof of trade. If we then determine that there is no trade, they are sent directly out of the market again." The attempts nevertheless became more frequent. This is recognizable, he says. "For example, if someone has a defective front door and has already been turned away at three home improvement stores, they'll try us." The private customers, however, usually showed themselves to be reasonable. "At the moment, we are already very careful that no one comes into the store here who is not allowed to," says the Würth employee.

Lots of people in front of the DIY stores

At the Obi store in Bonn's Nordstadt district, the service station is bustling with activity. An employee explains to GA on the phone that there is more work to be done on site. "Previously the customer picks up his goods from the shelves himself and pays. Now we have to put the goods out for pickup." And the pickup station is heavily used by residential customers in the lockdown, the employee reports. "Customers are consistently standing here to pick something up." So far, the only difference is with tradespeople. They can still be in the market and get their goods themselves. Advice is not necessary here, the employee says. "They get their bags of cement from the shelves and pay."

The lockdown is also being felt by employees at the Bauhaus store in Beuel. "We have more stress than before the lockdown," says an employee on the phone. According to her, online reservations were coming in all day long that had to be processed. But the team is not completely overloaded. "We are busy all the time," says the employee. Currently, in many stores, goods can be ordered online in advance. The employees on site then place the orders ready for pickup. In some cases, this is said to cause large queues to form in front of the DIY stores, report service employees from the stores. "We also continue to provide advice on the phone, provided that works," says one service employee. Despite the efforts, they are satisfied with the process.

(Original text: Niklas Schröder / Translation: Mareike Graepel)