Supply chains are "jerking": retailers expect supply bottlenecks at Christmas

Electronic devices, toys and textiles - these are products for which the trade association expects shortages at Christmas.

Supply chains are "jerking": retailers expect supply bottlenecks at Christmas

Electronic devices, toys and textiles - these are products for which the trade association expects shortages at Christmas. The reason is the disruptions in the supply chains, which "only slowly bounce back". But it's not just products that are lacking in retail.

The German retail trade fears delivery bottlenecks for possible gifts for the Christmas season. "Some products such as electronic devices, toys and textiles from Asia are likely to be scarce at Christmas," said the chief executive of the German Trade Association (HDE), Stefan Genth, the newspapers of the Funke media group. The supply chains would only slowly buck again.

"90 percent of retailers continue to report delivery problems," says Genth. "A lot comes later or in the wrong number." Many ships are stuck in queues or are not yet back on schedule. "In addition, there is the worldwide chip shortage, which is slowing down production," said the HDE general manager. The corona pandemic had led to major problems in international supply chains.

The retail trade in Germany is also currently looking for new employees. "There are currently around 56,500 vacancies in retail - around 3,300 more than before the pandemic," Genth continued. In addition, there are still 35,000 vacancies in the two core training occupations in the industry - clerk and salesperson.

Genth also warned against completely switching off all shop lighting in inner cities in order to save energy. "With the shop window lighting, we also ensure safety and social responsibility in the cities - especially in the less frequented time slots at night," he said. "In this area, saving energy must not come at the expense of safety. That's why I think completely dark city centers are difficult, and a sense of proportion is required here."

According to Genth, retailers are already consciously saving energy. "It is particularly effective not to set air conditioning systems so cool in summer and not to turn up the heating so much in winter. Because we know that one degree less room temperature when heating saves 6 percent of energy." With the new regulation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, it is possible to reduce the temperature in the shops to 19 degrees. In addition, the shop doors should not be left open all the time in order to reduce energy consumption. Lighting could be switched to LED.

According to Genth, retailers are feeling the energy costs immensely. "A supermarket that spent 70,000 euros on energy for cooling, air conditioning and heating last year already costs 140,000 euros. If this continues, it will soon be 200,000 euros." These are massive costs that cannot be absorbed by the profit margins of 1.5 to 2 percent in the grocery trade.

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