A number of retail stores in Germany have decided to give up the lucrative sale of firecrackers, rockets and the rest of pyrotechnic fires during the Christmas campaign to protect both the environment and animals, especially domestic pets, who suffer with pets. Noises and bursts.
“The rockets last an hour, but we want animal welfare and clean air 365 days a year. Both events do not go hand in hand,” Uli Budnik explained. Its Rewe supermarkets, in southern Dortmund, have been declared a firecracker-free zone.
For years, environmentalists criticize the use of pyrotechnics on the eve of New Year’s Day, among others, because the particles are dangerous for children and animals.
The environmental association Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) believes that the time has come for a change. Never before have consumers been so aware of the environment, he stressed.
“We expect less firecrackers and rockets to be bought this year,” said DUH chief Jürgen Resch, noting that at the beginning of 2020 merchants will be asked to stop selling fireworks altogether.
Merchants who remove fireworks and firecrackers from the end of the year from their assortment for environmental reasons are undoubtedly at risk because they renounce that income during the Christmas season.
“We are giving up sales and we don’t know how customers will react,” said Christoph Windges, who runs Edeka, one of the largest supermarket chains in North Rhine-Westphalia and that this year will not sell rockets or firecrackers.
Windges has made it clear that it is possible for customers to go to another nearby supermarket and shop there. The pyrotechnics industry generated sales in Germany for around 133 million euros in 2018 and similar figures are expected this year.
The Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry trusts that the environmental “false debate” will not affect sales and emphasizes that fireworks are much less harmful than stated.
According to the association, of the 33,000 supermarkets in Germany, only a few dispense with the sale of pyrotechnics during the holidays. Uwe Krüger, representative of the Commercial Research Institute of Cologne, has considered that demand will remain high.
“I don’t think consumers spend less money on fireworks this year. If the demand for pyrotechnics continues, retailers would be poorly advised if they don’t offer it,” said this expert.
“As long as the big discount chains don’t adapt, it won’t change much,” Krüger considered. “And if they do, many firecrackers could go into circulation without the corresponding security seal,” he warned.
“Experience shows that the more customers are restricted, the more likely they are to migrate to the Internet. And there are also dangerous goods there,” he said.
Budnik canceled the fireworks order for its Rewe supermarkets and announced its decision on Facebook. According to the supermarket chain, it has received almost only positive comments. “We will continue to do so next year. People can spend the money as they want. But we are not * going to participate,” he said.