Returning from the City by bike, I ride through the Sportpark towards the InterFace building, passing a development area. So what do I see?

A poster saying that a new „Edeka“ market is going to be built! And just around the corner, shortly before the roundabout that connects to InterFace – between Aldi and Lidl, they are busy building a new drugstore.

No matter in which direction I drive into or out of Unterhaching, discounters such as Aldi, Lidl and others are all over the place. Edeka, Rewe, Tengelmann and the likes can also be found more than once. More often than not, they are situated right next to their competition.

Drugstores, too, can be found in more than ample numbers all over and around Unterhaching. I am talking shops that are crammed with superfluous and sometimes outrageously expensive products. Not far from there, you will find the commercial area with hardware and gardening stores.

If you continue towards Ottobrunn, there is the Isar Center, of course accompanied with another Lidl. To top it all, there is also Ikea and a Metro shop. They are all close together, you can pass the entire lot of them by bike within a few minutes.

And there is always a huge parking lot coming with the shops. More and more of our soil is sealed. Regardless of there being more than enough shops in a very small area! I really do not know who is supposed to go shopping at all those places.

That makes me angry!

The new discounters no longer deserve the name shops. They would be better named transfer sites for products. Palettes are unloaded, and if you are lucky, the products are stored in shelves. Self-service has become a truly favoured method. Even the lady at the cashier’s desk will soon be replaced by a machine.

The products come from a central storage, then they are temporarily stored in trucks and then delivered ”just in time“. If you wanted service and advice, you have – of course – come to the wrong place. And since there are so many of them and the opening hours are now much longer, the shops are mostly empty. The extra-big parking lots, too, are never full these days.

Of course, the frequence of turnover for products decreases. That is one of the reasons why the products – for instance milk – are given longer and longer “best-before” dates. “Convenient” is all that matters, logistics determine the conditions for packaging and products.

Consequently, the logical thing happened: the economic situation of all the business concerns got worse. But they do not care. They continue to build new shops, preferably right opposite of the competition.

The only reason I can find is that they are probably standing with their back to the wall. Now they fight their last destructive campaign, ruining both themselves and the competition in the process. We are, however, light years away from a reasonable shopping structure with a sustainable product variety that avoids waste.

What do I do about it?

I no longer buy drugstore products, except once in a while soap and occasionally razor blades. Basically, I buy as little as possible. In addition, I try to immunize myself against the temptation of bargains and thus do not buy stupid rubbish. Wherever possible, I avoid discounters and try to never buy anything ahead. Instead, I always only buy what I actually need. Or what I believe I will need. And even that is surprisingly little.

(Translated by EG)

2 Kommentare zu “What Annoys Me … #8 Discounters, Supermarkets and Drugstores Sprouting All Over The Place”

  1. Chris Wood (Monday August 8th, 2011)

    At least Aldi is never empty when I go there, at all times of the day. There are at least a dozen people queued at every cash desk. I assume that customers buy more because they don’t want to wait so long just for a couple of items. So, often only one cash desk is active, although extra ones could be opened.
    All these discounters remind me of a fact about plant evolution. Plants have much more chlorophyll than they can efficiently use. Why do they waste energy producing it? It causes darker shadow under the plants, thus suppressing young competitors trying to grow up from underneath. Evolution works everywhere.
    By the way Roland, it is lucky that Barbara is there to buy toothpaste for you.

  2. rd (Monday August 8th, 2011)

    Hi Chris, anscheinend gehst Du nicht zu den vielen Aldis in Unterhaching. Da ist es immer ziemlich ruhig. Die alten Zeiten, wo sich die Menschen um Sonderangebote prügelten, man um einen freien Parkplatz froh und es im Geschäft noch richtig voll war, sind vorbei.

    Eine Schlange von 12 Kunden vor einer Kasse würde dem Filialleiter seinen Job kosten.

    Aber wenn Du schreibst, dass nur eine Kasse offen ist, dann frage ich, warum da meistens vier oder mehr teuere Kassensysteme vorhanden sind? Haben die Discounter sich mit ihrer Umsatzerwartung völlig verplant?

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