The sad story of the “Displaypreis”

Price tag - ©iStockphoto.com/alexslQ: When is a price not a price?

A: When it’s a “Displaypreis”

What sounds like a bad joke actually happened to me at a local supermarket last week – the very simple case of when the price on the shelf does not match the price in the computer.

Of course, this being Germany there is a law to govern such things and it is called the Preisangabenverordnung and acts in a similar way to the Sale of Goods act in the UK.  As I understand it, you cannot display a price on the shelf and then ask for a higher one at the till.

And yet it happens and I am usually more than willing to point this out and insist on paying the price that was on display.

Over the years I have experienced various answers.  Most supermarkets will just check that I am right and charge me the lower price, although I remember taking one employee to a shelf to show that the price in the computer was off by several Deutschmarks, only for them to remove the sign in question and say “so, now it’s not anymore” and insist on the higher price.

I have also been in supermarkets when the prices have been raised during the course of the day, so that the price on the shelf changed after I took something off it!

But the absolute winner in excuses was the one last week.  The Displaypreis. [Read more…]

A Schultüte from the Supermarket

Today one of our local supermarket chains  (Rewe) was offering a free Schultüte (school cone) to all the children who start school next week.

Not only is the cone filled with healthy fruit and useful things such as a timetable to fill out and a ruler, but the promotion was well organised.

Although we had received a voucher in advance, we went early to make sure that our daughter did not miss out.  Excepting to find a large display – possibly with none left by the time we got there, we were pleasantly surprised to find that they were being kept out of public view and were only being issued on production of the voucher.

So even if this isn’t the cone that will be going with her to school next week, it was a nice thing for them to do and really brought home the fact, that there are only a few days left to go.

Thank you Rewe – and well done!

Our daughter and her school cone

Our daughter and her school cone at the supermarket

Woolworth’s in Germany

The Woolworth’s chain was very much in the news in the run up to Christmas in the UK. Now, it seems, it is the turn of the German Woolworth’s to enter the world of financial turmoil. Last week it was announced that they had registered the company as insolvency – a step that is similar to filing for bankruptcy, whilst at the same time giving them a chance to carry on trading under strict conditions in the hope of finding a solution to their problems.

My first visit to a German branch of Woolworth’s (technically they are called just “Woolworth”) was in Kleve, near the Dutch border, and during my first years in Germany I was a frequent visitor to the store in Bad Homburg. However, in recent years I have rarely gone there except to buy things that I have not been able to get anywhere else. Indeed, the location at the top end of the Louisenstrasse – the main pedestrian area – means that it is somewhat off the beaten track if you are only in the town centre for a short time.

Possibly there lies the problem. Much of the media criticised the UK company as being modern enough, saying that the stores had not moved with the times. The German media has been making the same sort of claims this week, and yet the two companies were completely separate entities.

Whilst the Woolworths Group PLC in the UK had already split from the main US company in 1982, it took until 1998 for the German “DWW Deutsche Woolworth GmbH & Co. OHG” to follow suit. Since then the German company has modernised the cash desks and introduced new store concepts.

But this, it sadly seems, was just not enough.

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