Bonn The Bürger Bund Bonn criticises the 365-day operation of the new Lidl branch on Poststraße. Due to the daily alcohol offering of the discounter, the council group fears a "Bonner Loch 2.0". An assessment by the city is still pending.
No sooner has the new Lidl store opened in the city center than some Bonn residents are expressing concern. Although travelers and city center residents are happy about the 365-day operation of the new discounter at the main train station, trade unions see it as disturbing the peace on Sundays. And now the Bürger Bund Bonn (BBB) is also voicing its concerns about the daily opening of the discount store.
"The new Lidl store is undoubtedly not located on railroad property, but directly below the row of stores on the first floor of the Urban-Soul complex on Poststraße," informs BBB faction leader Marcel Schmitt. In a inquiry his party turned to the city and now questions the legality of the Sunday opening times of the business. The basis for this exemption is a special clause in the Shop Opening Act, which stipulates that stores at passenger stations may be open daily for the sale of travel supplies. If the term "passenger station" refers exclusively to the railroad premises, the BBB's criticism would be justified. After all, the new Lidl is not located on the Deutsche Bahn's property area, as a DB spokesman told the GA upon request.
The BBB group also refers to the Railway Construction and Operating Regulations (EBO), which define railroad facilities as follows: "All land, structures and other facilities of a railroad which, taking into account local conditions, are necessary for the handling or securing of passenger or freight traffic by rail." Whether this definition has any impact on the City's assessment needs to be clarified. If it does, the Lidl store would not be on railroad property and thus would not qualify for 365-day operation.
BBB representatives see possible legal violations in the discounter's product range
The BBB representatives also see possible legal violations in the range of products offered by the discounter, as the Shop Opening Act only permits the sale of travel necessities on Sundays and public holidays - larger quantities of alcohol are not included in this according to the BBB. The daily sale of stimulants in the basement of the main station namely bears the risk of promoting a "Bonner Loch 2.0", according to critics, as a ban on alcohol consumption in this area has also already been overturned by the city at the end of June.
Lidl on enquiry does not want to comment in principle on political discussions. The company denied the accusation of unlawful Sunday opening: "With regard to Sunday opening for rail passengers, we comply with the official requirements," said a spokeswoman.At the time of the store's reopening, the discount giant had advertised the store's modern construction and the creation of 50 new jobs in the city center.
(Original text: Abir Kassis, Translation: Mareike Graepel)