Bonn · The new Lidl at Bonn Central Station will be open 365 days a year, but the Verdi trade union says there will be some limitations when it comes to public holidays. Still, many city dwellers welcome the chance to go grocery shopping on Sunday.
The Lidl store at Bonn Central Station rolled out the red carpet for its guests on the occasion of its grand opening. Offering discounts, it lured them into the underground shopping mall of the Urban Soul complex. The discount grocer offers around 4,000 different products on around 730 square meters of retail space. What makes it unique: The store is also open on Sundays.
On All Saints' Day, people queued up at the cash registers in the morning, and the response from customers was positive throughout: "It's totally practical, we were missing a big supermarket here," said 61-year-old Iliana Urlaub from Friesdorf. In many countries it has long been the norm for stores to open on Sundays, she said. Especially travelers and visitors to the city are happy about the new discount grocer at the train station, which - like the kiosks and Rewe To Go - is also open on holidays. Karsten Bruhns, who lives in the city center, said it was very quiet on Sundays and she thought it was “cool to be able to shop there now.” Svenja Braun agrees: "It's great, there's plenty of room for the baby buggy and you can find everything you need," she said.
Bonn's tenth Lidl branch will be open 365 days a year. This is due to a special provision in the Shop Opening Act, which stipulates that stores at public train stations are permitted to open daily to fill the needs of travelers. While commuters and Sunday customers are pleased about the store being open every day, the unions see it as jeopardizing the traditional Sunday day of rest . Preserving this tradition is "more important than ever, especially in the current situation," warned Jana Zorn from the trade union Verdi. Many employees currently receive only limited protection from their employers and are "increasingly exposed to criticism and hostility from the customer environment", the trade unionist said.
Lidl explained that the opening of the store was due to the changed shopping behavior of customers and it wanted to accommodate that. "Especially in the metropolitan areas, grocery shopping is increasingly taking place after hours", said company spokesperson Kolja Kolander. Only in a few important train stations, such as Hamburg or Essen, are there such Lidl stores. The new Lidl store at the Bonn main station, which is open daily between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., is a good way to better reach customers in urban areas such as Bonn city center.
On public holidays, the supermarket is only allowed to offer products for traveler needs. Union representatives hope that Lidl will handle the opening of its new store responsibly. Besides food and beverages, items for travel could also include hygiene articles, tobacco products and souvenirs. When it comes to official holidays, the new supermarket would have to close off individual areas that do not include items needed for travel, explained Verdi spokeswoman Jana Zorn.
Orig. text: Abir Kassis. Translation: ck