The German government announced Jan. 5 that it is extending the Corona lockdown. Not only will it be extended until Jan. 31, but measures to contain the pandemic will be tightened.
For non-essential retailers, that’s a big problem. Even before the federal government announced the extension, some retailers had told some media outlets that they would defy the current lockdown and reopen their stores in the event of another extension, despite the ban, to minimize their losses or even prevent bankruptcies. The media took particular notice of a southern German Intersport retailer, Udo Siebzehnrübl, who operates five stores in Altötting, Pasing, Passau, Riem near Munich and Rosenheim. After his remarks, which the Bavarian Trade Association considered a clear “cry for help,” were spread in all media channels and also picked up by the right-wing scene, Siebzehnrübl finally relented. He told the news portal ntv that he did not want to support the Corona denial movement, that his only concern was that his family business with 100 employees was incurring losses in the millions, that his warehouse was full of winter goods and that he had received only €15,000 in state aid since March. The right-wing scene exploited his action for its own purposes, he told Bayerischer Rundfunk. “Intersport should not be dragged into these waters,” he said and withdrew his intention to open his stores in defiance of the ban.