Online Rivals

Is E-Commerce Killing German Retail?

New shopping centers will look like gigantic playgrounds, experts say. MyZeil in Frankfurt attracts customers with its glass palace-like structure, a gym and a restaurant with a panorama view.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Experts say that retail will survive pressure from the web, despite its growing market share.

  • Facts


    • Consumer confidence in Germany rose to a 13-year high in February, according to German market researcher GfK.
    • Online shopping increased by 11.2 percent of sales from 7.3 percent in 2009.
    • The amount of square meters available for commercial real estate increased by around 11 percent to 123.1 million square meters in 2013, from 109 million square meter in 2009.
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At first look, retail in Europe’s largest economy seems to be suffering amid the rise of e-shopping. More and more people prefer to complete errands online from home than dive into the rough-and-tumble of crowded shopping malls, long lines and unfriendly service.

Shopping malls that opened recently such as the luxury Skyline Plaza in Frankfurt, and the Bikini House and Mall of Berlin in the German capital, have been met with skepticism.

“Who needs another shopping center,’’ some have asked, especially when, as is often the case in Germany, the lineup of stores is often the same – a big department store retailer like H&M or Zara, an electronics outlet like Medi-Max or MediaMarkt.

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