Department stores are currently attracting customers with strong discount offers. However, there can be no question of pleasant temperatures, good lighting and convenience when shopping. FOCUS online says what consumers need to know.

Electricity and energy prices have not only increased for private individuals.

Industry and trade are also struggling with the increased heating and energy costs. Around the beginning of the year, many electricity suppliers tightened the price screw. Large department stores, supermarkets and discounters are therefore uniformly pressing the economy brake. These include well-known retailers such as Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord, Lidl, Rewe, Edeka, Galeria, Ikea and Hornbach.

FOCUS online has already reported that timers and temperature settings for heating are being optimized in almost all supermarket and discounter branches throughout Germany. Store managers check the gas, water and electricity meters. According to an Edeka merchant from Baden-Württemberg at the time, the aim was to reduce consumption.

“We are 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.

“The energy costs are a big problem for retailers. We have dealers whose energy costs have increased tenfold. That’s crazy,” says Thomas Scherer, Managing Director of the Southwest Trade Association for Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, in Mainz.

Customers particularly notice the switched off escalators.

While escalators were still in regular operation before Christmas, the first department stores, furniture stores, DIY stores and specialist companies switched back to the savings program at the beginning of the new year. In some department stores there is only one escalator per floor in operation. For example in many Galeria branches. Customers have to put up with long walks to get from floor to floor.

Information boards say: “We save energy. Small measures with a big effect.” And further: “Therefore, this escalator is currently closed. Please use the next escalator.” This is about 50 meters away.

The blocked escalators at Galeria are not an isolated case.

“Depending on the technical conditions, we also control the escalators in our furniture stores according to frequency, so that they only consume energy when needed,” the Ikea press office explained to the German press agency last autumn. However, Ikea has not completely discontinued the escalators.

Escalators are appearing in larger shopping centers that can be switched off automatically and only start up as soon as customers approach them.

However, the operation of the escalators will not be completely stopped. After all, the accessibility of the sales areas is also important, according to retailers on request.

Saving measures are also being implemented at the entrances and exits. The automatic sliding doors have been adjusted since October 2022 so that less heating energy can escape from the interior to the outside. For example, electric sliding doors close faster and open just as quickly. If consumers have to open the door by pulling or pressing, a mechanism is used so that the doors close gently more quickly.

This should allow the warm air from the branches to circulate better and not go directly outside.

Closed on Monday. This has recently been written on the doors of the Ehrmann furniture stores in the Palatinate, in Baden and in Trier.

The reason for this is the increased energy costs, which have a particularly high financial impact in the large shops with thousands of lamps and lights. “We want to reduce our energy consumption by ten percent with the closing day,” explains company boss Horst Ehrmann. This should compensate for the extreme rise in energy prices. “So that we can keep our sales prices stable.”

Garden centers and hardware stores had already implemented these measures. They hope for lower operating costs.

Basically, the opening hours vary depending on the federal state. While branches in some federal areas were open daily until 11 p.m., some of them have been closing at 8 p.m. since October 2022.