It is a real dilemma: On the one hand, people are called upon to avoid contact as much as possible and to stay at home if possible. On the other hand, the retail trade suffers enormously from the fact that city centres remain relatively empty. This is also felt by the retailers on the Zeil, which is otherwise one of the highest-turnover shopping streets in Germany. Sales slumps of around 60 percent are to be lamented here. Even though there is a lot going on on some days on the Zeil, many customers avoid the shops. The great hope for the retail trade is now the Christmas business.
To get people here in the Christmas mood and the buying mood, the Zeil is being illuminated for Christmas for the first time since 2017. Under the motto "The Zeil shines", Mayor Peter Feldmann switched on the Christmas lights on Frankfurt's largest shopping street. "Christmas shopping needs Christmas spirit", said the mayor. "But this year, the scent of almonds and mulled wine, which usually accompanies us through this time, is missing. With the new Christmas lighting, we are turning the Zeil into a ray of hope in the truest sense of the word - and helping Frankfurt's retail trade in a difficult situation". </For a long time it looked as if we would have to do without these Christmas lights as well. Because of the lack of income from the tradesmen and their associations, there was no money for the Christmas lights. The city management under the leadership of Eduard Singer and the business development department stepped in and took over the financing, thus helping the NEUE Zeil association as the organiser and promoter. The Parks Department, the Office for Road Construction and Development, City Lighting Rhine-Main and the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry, represented by President Ulrich Caspar, were also on board.</p>
Feldmann said: "The virus shows us every day how important cohesion is. The fact that everyone is now pulling together and working together for our retail business is encouraging." </Markus Frank, head of the economics department, welcomed the joint initiative for the Christmas illumination of the Zeil. Festively decorated shopping streets are a visible invitation in the truest sense of the word and stand for a harmonious atmosphere - an important signal for our retail trade, our citizens and the guests of our city in these difficult times. Safe shopping with ambience is our message for the Christmas business, please support local retailers". </p>
"The past months have been a difficult time for the retail trade in the city centre due to a lack of customers. Every measure that makes the Zeil more attractive will help companies to survive this difficult phase. I would therefore like to express my sincere thanks for the good cooperation in making the Christmas lighting possible", said Ulrich Caspar, President of the Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
So, an atmospheric shopping spree at Christmas time is now possible even without a Christmas market. And if we all follow the AHA rules, this is also a safe way to support local retailers in these difficult times.