In the retail sector, significantly more retailers than usual had to go out of business during the corona pandemic. “Compared to 2019, we lost around 41,000 businesses,” said the President of the German Trade Association (HDE), Alexander von Preen, the newspapers of the Funke media group (Wednesday editions). In the pre-Corona times, on the other hand, only around 5,000 shops per year would have closed nationwide.

The HDE President reported that chain stores had given up 30 percent of their locations during the pandemic. According to him, there are currently around 312,000 stores nationwide. These would now be “partly existentially” burdened by the high energy prices.

“In retail, energy costs are around 1.5 percent to two percent of sales,” said von Preen. At the same time, the return on sales is only 1.5 percent to three percent. “If energy prices double or even increase tenfold, profits will shrink to zero in many places.” The food trade with large refrigerated counters is particularly suffering.

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