Today I got a message from the KaDeWe regarding my Click and Meet experience. How do I out it? Horrible. If I ever wanted to feel what it was like to live in the U.S.S.R circa 1972. I had a taste of it on Saturday at 1:00, standing outside in the cold wet weather waiting in a long line to go shopping in Berlin’s luxury department store.
After three months of closure, German retailers reopened on the March 8th. Finally, a place to go other than a discount supermarket. But, there is a catch. Spontaneous shopping is no more. A relic not fitting in today’s world. As we can read, Merkel and crew are grasping by finger nails to the Covid situation, but had to bow to economic pressure.
Click and Collect means making an online shopping appointment online for one hour. I made three wanting to see what was on sale. As my friend said, “ they will have to pay us to take their unsold merchandise”. Stores have 3 seasons of unsold merchandise. Snazzing myself up a bit for a shopping day. Be careful what you wish for. I had to wear a Ffp2 mask for the 35 minute metro journey to City West.
I arrived at my first appointment, the flagship Peek and Cloppenberg store. Normally, the six door grand entrance buzzes with customers rushing in and out. This time you have to check in through one door with security staff all asking if you have an appointment. I did, but the awkward sensation of being asking to shop, strange. Not a lot of people shopping in the store at 11:00. The end result, I bought nothing.
Having a bit of time, I went next door to KaDeWe for my next appointment one hour early. Not a long line, perhaps I could get in early. Not happening! Security enforced the appointment times, 1:00 meant 1:00, no early entrances.
Wondering around a dead Kudamm, no cafes, no random shopping cause I made no appointments. Rain, cold, wet with no where to go for for seventy-two minute wait.
Finally, 13:00. Walking up to the KaDeWe, a long, long, line. I asked two guys, “All of you have an Appointment?” “Yes!” I walked to the back of the line after asking security how long of a wait. The five minute reply was met with scepticism.
I met a woman waiting to enter. Asking her opinion of the situation, the response, “CASTROPHE!”
Finally, people moved towards the door. Heading up the escalators, mens area first floor. Busy, busy, shoes on sale at half price. Tempting. In the end, I left the menswear floor empty handed.
Wondering up the famed food area, really crowded. My standard buys are the cakes and bread from Lenotre. Then, a wonder around to the Champagne area. Nothing on sale in the sparkling wines section.
On To The Next One
After thirty five minutes, enough. The feeling was lost. A cordoned off luxury store, a timetable to shop, not for me, exit, left door.
My last Click and Meet appoint, the most French spot in Berlin, Galeries Lafayette. Arriving early, I managed to get in however I had to take a number. The sales were ok, but the far from crowded store had a sort of Twilight Zone feel. I kept asking myself, “Why Do I need to buy this?”
The food section, my favourite, I bought baguettes, cheese and a brioche, leaving the store through the side door.
An honest opinion of the Click and Meet plan, another knife in brick and mortar retail. The government wants us to shop online.