“Trade is gearing up to provide parking spaces for e-charging stations,” said Brigitte Nolte, head of the Hamburg branch of the Handelsverband Nord. This comes against the backdrop of sustainability, which is a proving a hot topic in retail and ranges from ways of reducing packaging, smart last mile designs to e-charging stations.
Events in September
A climate protection event will be held in September and trade representatives will meet for the Hamburger Händlertreff on September 6, 2019 followed by the Day of North German Trade on September 10, 2019. “The trade meeting will focus on Otto’s new online platform where stationary dealers can sell their products. This is particularly attractive for smaller companies,” said Nolte.
“fashion connect“ – experimental shopping lab
Early in 2019, the Otto-owned bonprix company opened a pilot store in downtown Hamburg where it is experimenting with a mix of online and offline app-assisted shopping under the motto fashion connect. Customers scan products using the bonprix app on the “Trend Floor”, where each garment and accessory is presented only once in rousing theme worlds. The selected garments are made available in the “Fitting Room”. “We have made the smartphone an essential aid in our new store because it is now a constant companion for our customers – whether they want to find out more or use it for shopping,” said Markus Fuchshofen, Managing Director Sales at Bonprix. Otto views the pilot store as an experimental, shopping lab that is being constantly developed in reaction to customer feedback.
Exciting structural change
Summer time means guests and yet steadily rising tourist numbers are not stirring up the good mood sufficiently in stationary trade, according to Nolte. Tourists are no compensation for structural change, which is making business difficult for stationary trade. “Tourists are of course increasing customer frequency and sales, but they cannot compensate for the move to online retail,” said Nolte. On the other hand, smart transport solutions can make life easier for stationary retailers. “The Hamburg Ministry for Economics is developing good concepts and hopes are now high that they will also be implemented by 2021 in time for the ITS World Congress which Hamburg is hosting in that year.”
Start-ups’ innovative Ideas
Nolte has noted many creative ideas in the start-up scene. “We are always presenting really innovative and promising ideas for niche products in our start-up seminars,” she pointed out. And they are often based on sustainable business ideas.
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