German consumer groups are wary of Black Friday shopping – DW – 11/24/2022 | So Good News


Going hunting after the Thanksgiving holiday is an American tradition that has spread around the world, including Germany, in recent years.

The week-long excitement known as Cyber ​​Week that begins with Black Friday gives shoppers around the world ample opportunity to explore the many special offers and discounts offered by their neighborhood brick-and-mortar stores and all you can buy. online platforms, the likes of Amazon, eBay or China’s Taobao.

In Germany this year, consumer sentiment is mixed as people grapple with rising inflation and high electricity bills, while still wanting to do business with their limited cash.

According to Bitkom’s digital outreach group, German consumers are thinking more about where to buy, and are actively looking for bargain prices.

“Germans are careful about their budgets and many feel the need to keep a check on their spending,” said Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder after his agency published a recent consumer survey. “Friday and the entire Cyber ​​Week ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ have never been more important to them than in the critical year of 2022, he told DW.

Platforms vs. markets

As in previous years, online sales are outstripping those made in stores and on the High Street.

The German retail group HDE asked consumers about their favorite places during Cyber ​​Week, and found that 22% more will use the Internet for shopping this year – an estimated increase of €5.7 billion ($5.8 billion) in terms of money.

According to Bitkom, almost every second German consumer said that they will shop during Cyber ​​Week this year online, while only 5% said that they would prefer a brick and mortar store. The main reason given was better price comparisons online.

It is not surprising that the German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof Karstadt announced its second bankruptcy in less than three years in October, but said it will continue its work on the company’s Internet platform.

A photo of Amazon's warehouse in Pforzheim, Germany, with dozens of packages hanging from shelves.
Online platforms like Amazon are getting the biggest share of Cyber ​​​​​​​​Week sales Photo: photo-alliance/dpa/C. Schmidt

HDE’s vice president Stephan Tromp says the special shopping concept around Thanksgiving will remain a growth story even in the economic crisis. “Many consumers focus on these two days when looking for deals,” he told DW, referring to Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, which are usually the two busiest days of the week.

Overall, however, sales are not expected to go through the roof in these difficult times in Germany.

The picture shows the signs of Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt, whose buildings are directly adjacent to each other in the center of the city of Trier, Germany.
With the lawsuits against Galeria Kaufhof Karstadt, the company’s 131 stores and thousands of jobs are on the line.Image: image-union/U. Baumgarten

Shop till you drop

With Cyber ​​​​​​​​​​Week shopping almost upon us, consumer advocacy groups are now warning about the pitfalls that accompany the shopping frenzy.

Katja Nonnenkamp-Klüting from a consumer design center in the northern German city of Bremen believes that consumers are unlikely to make “a lot” of the event. “One would hope that the prices were raised before they were lowered again and given as money,” he told DW.

Another expectation frequently used in Cyber ​​​​​​​​Week sales, he said, were prices as “below manufacturers’ recommendations.” Often such discounted rates can be secured in other cases outside of a special event, he said. His advice for Cyber​​​​​​Week: Be calm and stock up “even when big discounts threaten to disrupt your rational thinking.”

“Don’t let anyone pressure you, even if time or volume tells you that you need to make a quick sale. That’s the magic of marketing that tries to trick you into buying things without thinking.”

In general, the best thing about online shopping in Germany is the right to cancel the contract for two weeks after the purchase, Nonnenkamp-Klüting said. But any return would incur costs, he added, which could be higher if the seller is overseas.

This article was originally published in German


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