Corona crisis in the district - rescue with a click
"Good morning my dear customers, today on Saturday: cool, long cotton shirts in mullet style, a bit longer at the back, shortened at the front, in great colors!" That's how Ulrike Soré from the fashion shop "Mode Mosaic" in Herrsching starts many of her daily videos, in which she presents the latest goods. She is currently presenting blouses, jackets, scarves and tunics from the spring collection - in bright, cheerful colours. The social media app Instagram serves as the distribution platform. The customers then call Soré and order the parts that they particularly liked in the videos. Soré then puts these together in the shop window at an agreed time so that the customers can then try them on at home. Anything you don't like can be returned to her free of charge, she says.
"Click and Collect" or "Call and Collect" are the names of the mostly digital sales formats that many retailers have been able to use since January 11th. The Bavarian state government recently eased restrictions on retail. Larger retailers, such as the Hagebaumarkt in Starnberg, therefore offer their customers the opportunity to buy the goods in the online shop and then pick them up in the branch or have them delivered to their home. However, smaller shops in the fashion industry had to get creative, because many of them cannot serve with an online shop due to their size. That's what Sore says. After many stores initially offered telephone advice with pick-up on site, some owners, including themselves, are now offering video advice via Instagram. Of course, the sales figures cannot be compared with the time before Corona, she says. But even now she is in the store from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to take calls and shoot the videos. "You have to move, that's very important," explains the long-time owner, "you have to keep the customers." Her offer is good, even "hammer", as she says. But it is significantly more work to sell the goods this way. At the end of the video, Soré wishes the customers "have fun shopping!". The speech sounds personal. For a good reason: "I have a lot of good regular customers", and they also want to address them with the videos.
Other retailers are switching to digital shop windows, such as the Kunkel shoe store in Starnberg. Customers can view the entire range online, reserve shoes or order them by telephone and pick them up in store. But "such digital offers do not replace the consulting competence that we stand for," says Maria Wiedemann, owner of the shoe store. You can only "play them face to face". Measuring the feet on site is important for the health of the little feet, especially for children who are now outgrowing their winter boots.
With her fashion shop on Mühlfelder Straße in Herrsching, Gabi Huber relies on Whatsapp stories, with which she presents new goods almost every day via video. Customers could contact her directly via smartphone, have the goods put together and then pick them up. "Then you automatically have a personal interview," says Huber. You only pay after trying them on at home. It is unusual to give people a leap of faith. But "the people are from the area," says Huber. The customers were happy about the offer, but some still asked: "How does that work?" But although the service could partially cover the costs, Huber also emphasizes: "We prefer to have the people in the shop". What is missing are "the events that people buy something nice for a birthday". Huber, who is also the second chairwoman of the Herrschinger trade association "WiR", together with other members, launched the "Kauf - Lokal - Online" initiative and an associated website in March 2020.
Theme pack and surprise bag
For large retailers such as the Hagebaumarkt and the Rupprecht bookstore in Starnberg or the Kiefl garden center in Gauting, which already have online shops with their selection of products, setting up their Click & Collect pick-up service was a comparatively uncomplicated step. Even with sports shops such as Sport Lier in Starnberg or Intersport in Tutzing, the delivery costs are simply eliminated when ordering online for collection.
The smaller retailers had a harder time. On the homepage www.werkxsalon.de of the handicraft shop werkXsalon in Starnberg you can now order a "painting basket to go" and pick it up in the shop. In addition to the selection from the catalog range, the Starnberg city library puts together theme packages on request and delivers the ordered books in the city area and the districts (orders with the ID number to email@example.com). There is a similar offer at the jeweler Merlin in Starnberg. There, the employees put together an individual surprise bag for collection by specifying the desired color and size over the phone and also show their customers new products in the range on Facebook and Instagram.
In Herrsching, the "WiR" trade association offers an overview of the local "click" or "call and collect" services from various areas on the website shopping-in-herrsching.de, from fishing supplies to stationery to traditional costumes. In addition to the applicable hygiene regulations, the prerequisites for collection are usually a date-bound order number and ID. Leda
But not all retailers are satisfied with the "click and collect" route. Bettina Krebs, owner of the "Modafein" shop in Starnberg, is appalled that this is one of the few ways to get the goods to the people. There is enormous product pressure. She is currently using three digital sales channels: an outfix box, which she puts together with customers via video consultation; Video shopping on Instagram, for which her daughter models, and an online shop that is now also compatible with mobile phones. "Of course Click and Collect works, we are very well organized," says Krebs. But it's "about livelihoods, about people," she feels neglected by politics. You have to work day and night to stay afloat with such sales strategies, even though you have customers all over Germany. That's why she finds measures like Click and Collect almost "ridiculous".
Christoph Winkelkötter from the Society for Economic and Tourism Development Starnberg hopes that the shops can open again "when the tourists come back from Easter" and welcomes people using the "Click and Collect" offers in the meantime.