Berlin partially lifted the lockdown form the Coronavirus Crisis. Stores up to 800 meters may open. But the limits are as follows: A limited number of people allowed for 20 meters. Sounds easy, but Soviet Union 1975, people standing in line waiting to get in a store.
I wanted to see it for myself. As one of the first major cities to reopen, the German capital could represent life with Covid-19. A living petri dish of the “New Normal”.
Shopping experience in a Post Lockdown world means distance.
I went to a denim shop in the city center for a pair of jeans. The sales person, a friend, was sitting outside as I came up. I entered the store with a mask in my hand, but he wearing his. There was tape on the floor to mark the 2 meter space in front of sales desk. Funny, the store felt a bit bare. I asked what happened. The previous collection was sent back to the head office. It did not sell. The carry over pieces are available until the Spring looks arrive.
I asked about business. A mixed reaction. He preferred people stay at home, not window shop. Better to call ahead for a pair of pants. It is safer. But the lack of buyers concerned him. If the lack of customers continued he feared the store would close in a matter of months. I got a pair of new jeans for the spring.
I walked around the shopping area, all the boutique shops looked empty. A street once filled with people, tumble weeds could have rolled across. A few stores marked down items at 70%. Few takers.
A bit strange walking into a sore filled with salespeople wearing masks and warning signs of a virus. Even asking a staff member 2 meters aways felt awkward. Next time I think Whats App.
The Mitte mega mall, Alex, had more employees than customers. To enter, shoppers have to go through line control. Once shopping was about connivence, now, drudgery. Opened for business but no shows. The public stayed away on the first opened day after 5 weeks in lockdown.
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