To do the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome is insanity. Einstein
For the second Christmas in Berlin the city has been placed on Covid restrictions. Did it work last year? It’s according who you ask. Back to where we started from in 2021. The difference from 2020: 2G and 3G, show proof of vaccination and identification to enter shops.
On the busies day shopping days of the year the consequences of these new policies. The possible death of brick and mortar retail in Berlin. The make or break Christmas Buying Season can mean up to 50% of annual retail profits.
In the German capital, malls and retailers have struggled during the crisis, resulting with many chains closing branches and reducing hours.
This past Black Friday Saturday I visited local shopping areas and stores. The cold weather and rain would put off even the most devoted bargain hunter, add to the inconvenience waiting in line outside in gray 5 degree celsius weather.
Wet and Cold Wait
I drop in to the Alexander Platz anchor store Galeria Kaufhaus. Thankfully, I went to the old TopShop entrance to avoid the crowd. The line only took 2 minutes. After walking around for 30 minutes, I would not call the 5 floor location “wall to wall busy”.
Next, The boutique shopping district Hackersham Market. All the stores had the 2G sign in the windows, but not so many shoppers in the stores.
Jumping on the Sbahn, next stop KuDamn, the main shopping street in the West with all its posh stores.
The luxury department store KaDeWe had a long line, but this time, unlike last year, there was a bit of assurance the line would move fast mixed with entertainment the 2G line would move fast.
After entering, my first thought, where was the crowd? I expected a lot more for the Berlin’s shopping mecca. Making my way up stairs, the food floor was jammed, clearly visitors were more interested in a bite to eat than the 50% off fashion promotions.
As for or Mitte’s Galeries Lafeyette and Potsdamer Platz Mall of Berlin in the late afternoon, the throngs of buyers went missing.
Physical Christmas shopping will suffer these days, no doubt. I went shopping on the day the Omicron variant became a global headline.
This writer ended up buying a bottle Champagne.