Outdoor retailer Bergzeit from southern Germany has called on its customers to show solidarity and stay at home to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. “Of course, as enthusiastic mountaineers, it is difficult for us to keep our feet still and not be out in the mountains, in the bouldering hall or on the trails,” the corresponding press release says, but in order to protect customers and employees in the best possible way, appropriate measures are inevitable. In addition to closing the German brick-and-mortar branches in Großhartpenning and Gmund, the company has also canceled all events as well as all “Bergzeit Erlebnis” trips and tours until April 30. The administrative staff at headquarters had already been working from their home for a week, and all internal and external meetings have since been held virtually. The logistics of the online shop has been reorganized so that only small groups work in a multi-shift system. The return period for online orders has been extended to 100 days to avoid the need for quick returns. The multichannel provider also provides its German-speaking customers with blog articles and instructions at www.bergzeit.de/bergzeitdaheim on what to do at home to stay fit and avoid boredom, such as “yoga for mountain sports enthusiasts” or “core training for climbers”. With the hashtag #bergzeitdaheim (“mountain time at home”), Bergzeit also is encouraging the entire community to share their own home sports ideas on Social Media.

Established in 2012, Bergzeit has become one of the most important outdoor retailers in Germany. A subsidiary of the sports group Georg and Jakob Oberrauch, which also owns the Sportler chain in Italy, Bergzeit increased its turnover to €65 million in 2018. Industry watchers expect the turnover to increase by a further €10 million in 2019.