Discount giant Aldi Nord closes its branches earlier in winter to save energy. Rewe wants to abolish brochures because, among other things, the price of paper is exploding. The first federal states are advising on a possible return of the mask requirement. FOCUS online summarizes all the important changes and tells you what to look out for.

At the end of September, a fire letter from the Tegut organic supermarket chain caused a stir. In it, the managing director called on all 16 federal states to set uniform and shorter opening times. Tegut wanted to heat up the discussion with the fire letter – apparently with success.

“In the short term, a reduction would help save energy. In the long term, it would make the job profile in retail more attractive again,” explained Tegut boss Thomas Gutberlet in an interview with the “Lebensmittel Zeitung” (paid content).

From November 1st, Aldi Nord will reduce the opening hours of its branches. The shops should then close at 8 p.m. Exceptions apply, however, to shops in which “longer opening hours are specified,” explains the press office.

These are, for example, Aldi branches in shopping centers, train station squares and popular places where many customers shop between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The discounter provides information about the exact opening times online and on site.

In some federal states, the discounter is sometimes open until 10 p.m. According to information from FOCUS online, Aldi Süd is also planning a similar measure. Some branches in Baden-Württemberg have been closing at 9 p.m. since October 1st. Employees confirmed the relevant information on request.

Basically, the following applies: The opening times are determined by the federal states in the Shop Protection Act.


However, Penny, Netto Marken-Discount and Lidl could wait with corresponding announcements. When asked by FOCUS online last August, the retailers spoke of a “small saving” due to shorter opening hours. However, gas and heating oil prices have continued to rise since then.

At the request of FOCUS online, the first merchants at Edeka and Rewe confirmed that shorter opening hours during the week were a possible option to reduce costs by almost 15 percent. Customer frequency should decide on Friday and Saturday. “In winter there are few customers in the store after 8 p.m. Then you have to check whether it’s worth staying open until 11 p.m.,” says an Edeka merchant from Stuttgart.

An average branch causes monthly heating costs in the higher five-digit range. At the same time, personnel costs could be saved. Evening surcharges and overtime are therefore eliminated.

The supermarkets and discounters rely on energy-saving programs in the winter months.

All branches of Edeka, Rewe, Penny, Kaufland, Hit, Aldi Nord, Aldi Süd, Lidl or Netto-Marken-Discount switch off the outside lighting at night. Billboards are also deactivated in the evening hours. In almost all supermarket branches, timers and temperature settings for heaters are being optimised.

Store managers also check the gas, water and electricity meters.

According to an Edeka merchant from Baden-Württemberg, the aim is to reduce consumption. “We are currently examining how we can use the fresh food counters and refrigerated counters efficiently in order to reduce operating costs.” Many retailers expect the costs to triple, which cannot all be passed on to the customers.

Saving measures are also being examined at the entrances and exits. The automatic sliding doors should be adjusted so that less heating energy can escape to the outside. This should allow the doors to open and close more quickly.

In some cases store managers even plan with pavilions in front of the entrances. Customers should first walk through the winter-proof pavilions and only then through the sliding door. As a result, the warm air from the branches should circulate better and not escape directly to the outside.

If Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has his way, the mask requirement should soon return indoors. In the current Infection Protection Act, however, the federal states themselves decide whether to implement a mask requirement or test certificates in public buildings.

The state governments want to continue to monitor the infection situation. State politicians from Berlin, Brandeburg, Lower Saxony and Saarland have made positive comments in the past few weeks about a return to the mask requirement. The state governments, including those from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, reject the proposals.

The retail trade is also rejecting a return to the mask requirement via the German trade association. In interviews, Managing Director Rainer Will warned of waves of layoffs and slumps in sales.

Yes! Negotiations are currently underway in the German retail sector. Brand manufacturers want to raise prices, supermarkets want to avoid that.

For this reason, many products are missing from the supermarket shelf.

Energy has never been as expensive as it is now. But instead of panicking, you should calmly check potential savings at home. As our guide shows, there are many of them.

A current survey by the Ifo Institute also shows that the majority of food retailers in Germany will raise prices almost across the board in the coming months. Around 100 percent of the companies surveyed are already planning this. At the drugstores it is 92 percent.

With inflation running rampant, handbills and flyers are playing an increasingly important role for retailers. However, in order to reduce printing costs, more and more supermarkets and discounters are using WhatsApp to send advertising brochures.

Rewe, Kaufland, Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord had announced corresponding services. The brochures are sent on Sundays via WhatsApp message. Customers can use it to find out about current offers and non-food campaigns. In addition, the dealers also lure with regional offers that were otherwise only advertised in the branches.

At Aldi, Lidl, Rewe or Edeka – with simple tips you can immediately save 140 euros a month in the supermarket