Bad Godesberg Retailers are not pleased with the start of the Bad Godesberg Nicholas Market. The cancellation of Sunday opening has also caused disappointment among business people.
It is not the hats and scarves that are the problem: they are colourful and seem to be comfortable to wear. But there has not been strong demand yet, says the dealer at the Nicholas Market stand opposite the theatre. With her products, the warmer weather will have played a part as will the number of visitors, which is now slowly increasing with the second Advent weekend.
This has for years been the experience of Jürgen Bruder, chairman of the Bad Godesberg City Marketing Association. The first few days have been quiet but that is changing now. “Now comes the time when Christmas shopping increases.” However, our ability to attract more customers was taken a bit out of our hands through “Sunday opening being taken away from us.”
Disappointment over the cancellation of Sunday opening
This was planned for 16 December. Bruder says: “Business people had been looking forward to the extra income, had prepared everything and requested personnel.” The shop employees had already counted on the promised overtime being converted into time off in lieu. “It’s a bit of a negative, but people will still come to Bad Godesberg,” says the chairman. However, they will only be able to window shop. Even with critical comments from retailers, Bruder remains calm. They can first take stock at the end. “The crucial thing is what comes out at the end,” he says, quoting former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Theo Hardt describes business as “acceptable” so far. “It’s increasing.” His family has a drinks stand, snack bar and fish stall on Theaterplatz. The latter has been especially popular. Dietmar Thieme and his wife Annelore have been at the Nicholas Market for 18 years – since the beginning. In their experience, customers’ purchasing power has declined over the years.
Bad Godesberg district council discusses market directory
Nevertheless, there will be a Nicholas Market again next year - and lots more, as stated in the market directory discussed by the Bad Godesberg district council. Of note, is that two wine festivals are planned one shortly after the other for the coming spring – one organised by the City Marketing Association and the other by an agency in Cologne. Bruder does not view this as competition. “We can easily live with it. What we interests us, is that there is something going on in Bad Godesberg so that the lights stay on here.”
They therefore have nothing against Ralf Riefenberg’s small Christmas market that is now open daily on Molkteplatz, the Theatre Festival or the district administrative office’s Summer Festival. Bruder is now hoping for colder weather for mulled wine, punch and a better atmosphere at the Nicholas Market. “It would be great if it snowed.”
(Original text: Richard Bongartz / Translation: kc)