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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:43 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by kato2k8 View Post
Actually, it's not so much the timing. It's the labour cost, not just for delivery but also for the background logistics. The end result is that these services can never remotely compete price-wise with discounter chains, usually offering things at a 50-100% surcharge. Ever seen one of Edeka's distribution centers? There's only one thing that drives down prices, and that's sheer mass. And that's something German discounters (in particular!) excel at.
No one pays a 50-100% surcharge on simple groceries, that's why any such service is doomed from the start in Germany.
One thing I got very used to once I moved to Germany was "excuses". There is always some reason or another which people say things can't work in Germany even though they don't seem to have problems working elsewhere.

I can tell you that prices in say Tesco in the UK are no more expensive than prices in Rewe, it's market equivilent in Germany. Yet they still can afford to have an excellent home delivery service.

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There are a number of such delivery services that work with an extremely limited product range and extremely short timing (30-60 minutes), offering e.g. drinks, snacks or other last-minute goods. For prices that are even with surcharges still in the same region as at a gas station. Usually combined with some sort of other delivery service (e.g. takeout, or medium-quantity drink/beer delivery) so they only need some extra fridge space.
That's the kind of service that does pretty good business, at least around here with the richer customers.
But it's far from a substitute for a full service, which can deliver all your main groceries that you need in one swoop and yet at normal supermarket prices rather than petrol station prices.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:44 AM   #22
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What's wrong with Deutsche Bahn?
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Old September 11th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #23
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I can tell you that prices in say Tesco in the UK are no more expensive than prices in Rewe, it's market equivilent in Germany. Yet they still can afford to have an excellent home delivery service.
Ummm, Rewe is considered one of the priciest of the discounter chains, with only Edeka at comparable level. Rewe also runs the luxury grocery sections in Arcandor's stores btw (while Edeka runs upmarket grocery sections for similar stores Arcandor's competitor Metro).
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Old September 11th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #24
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I guess I live in a pretty good place in the means of everyday shopping. I have a small store just 150m from my door, a fuel station 500 m away(opened 24/7 so essentials are always available), a discounter chain store 550 m away, then one a bit bigger store 750 m away and a rather good mini-supermarket chain store 800m away.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #25
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Hang on. Those are all budget stores and don't even really count. I've never ventured into a Penny, but accidentily did to Lidl a couple of times and they don't even have normal products there, just Lidl brand stuff.
You know that most of those "unnormal" products are from the same producers as the "normal" products, don't you? And why those budget stores don't count? The majority of germans do their shopping there, as they are not willing (or can't afford) to pay more for the very same basic food.

BTW: There IS home delivery service in Germany: eismann and bofrost. However as competition with the classical retailers is too tough, they concentrate on deep-fried products and ice-cream.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #26
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What's wrong with Deutsche Bahn?
Uh, long list. Basically, since the start of the privatization process, when the government gave up control of DB in 1994, the system has become profit-driven. As a result, maintenance of both the network and vehicles has deteriorated vastly (culminating in three quarters of the Berlin S-Bahn's fleet currently forced to stand down), government subsidies at state level for regional public transport have skyrocketed, and the company has sacked 120,000 employees since 1994.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #27
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Ummm, Rewe is considered one of the priciest of the discounter chains, with only Edeka at comparable level. Rewe also runs the luxury grocery sections in Arcandor's stores btw (while Edeka runs upmarket grocery sections for similar stores Arcandor's competitor Metro).
Germans really such penny pinches :LOL: Anyway, Rewe is the middle of the road and certainly not the priciest. It sits in the middle with say Hit and is the equivalent with Tesco's.

The more expensive supermarkets will be what you find in the basement of department stores like Karstadt or Kaufhof in which UK's equivalent would be Marks and Spencer's.

The budget supermarkets in Germany like Aldi, Lidl etc are like the UK versions of Aldi, Lidl and Asda. That said, Tesco, despite being in the middle market, it does have a large budget range under it's own Tesco brand which can easily equal the prices of German budget stores, but with the same service quality as it's normal range.

Which brings this back into the thread theme of public transport usage allowing even those budget stores in the UK to home deliver and save the hassle of lugging everything on a bus ;O)

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Uh, long list. Basically, since the start of the privatization process, when the government gave up control of DB in 1994, the system has become profit-driven. As a result, maintenance of both the network and vehicles has deteriorated vastly (culminating in three quarters of the Berlin S-Bahn's fleet currently forced to stand down), government subsidies at state level for regional public transport have skyrocketed, and the company has sacked 120,000 employees since 1994.
Year, I know that there are problems with DB, but I still have to say I always find it a pleasure when I take a DB train in Germany compared with other countries. Recently I was in France and travelled across France with the TGV and their other long distance trains, and although they were fine, I found the design of the ICE trains in Germany, plus the stations etc to just be more pleasant. I find this quite often where ever I travel on trains whether that is Japan, Spain, France, the UK etc. They all have very good trains and network but somehow I just find DB better.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #28
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You know that most of those "unnormal" products are from the same producers as the "normal" products, don't you? And why those budget stores don't count? The majority of germans do their shopping there, as they are not willing (or can't afford) to pay more for the very same basic food.
Year, I know that. But that still makes a very big difference. If Aldi for instance does "one" camembert cheese, it may have come from a major company, but it doesn't mean it's the best camembert cheese. Go to a normal supermarket and you will get many options, of different years and ages and I would choose one that tastes better. It's the same right across the Aldi range. Sometimes the "one" option they have is quite good (I love their crisps) but in most cases it's very average and you simply don't have alternative choices.

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BTW: There IS home delivery service in Germany: eismann and bofrost. However as competition with the classical retailers is too tough, they concentrate on deep-fried products and ice-cream.
Thanks for the tips. I havn't tried these ones yet, but as they don't have a full product range I will most likely not do so. It defeats the purpose. I also have not yet checked what their home delivery service is actually like, but I do suspect that they are only useful for housewives or people who don't work unlike ones from other countries which will deliver to a small time frame window either free (after a minimum order price) or very affordable.

But you do nail the problem on the head. Germans are far too cheap when it comes to buying and will in most cases put price before service. Which is why the service in so many shops here are terribly bad. I think this will change as time goes by and as soon as one major supermarket starts to offer home delivery, all of them will have to do it and Germans will get used to this. By service though, I do mean far more than home delivery.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #29
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Lidl does not just sell product with its own brand like Aldi does.
By the way, Kaiser's supermarket does delivery for Munich and Berlin.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #30
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Germans really such penny pinches :LOL: Anyway, Rewe is the middle of the road and certainly not the priciest.
The majority of Germans couldn't afford to shop at anything pricier than Rewe, and quite a number not even there.

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The more expensive supermarkets will be what you find in the basement of department stores like Karstadt or Kaufhof in which UK's equivalent would be Marks and Spencer's..
Karstadt (Arcandor) basement supermarket: luxury brand of Rewe.
Kaufhof (Metro) basement supermarket: luxury brand of Edeka.

Except for Aldi, each of the German chains runs branches in every "section". Penny is the discounter chain for Rewe for example, Marktkauf is Edeka's hypermarket chain. Lidl is the same company as Kaufland. Metro as a primary C&C company retains the Real chain and sold the smaller supermarkets to Rewe. And so on.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #31
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Thats called granny-tank here,because they use it as a tank on the bus!
Yeah, it's only grannies that use those here in the UK I think.

If you use transit exclusively then you just need to buy little and often rather than huge amounts once a month. Which is good in a way as it means you can buy more fresh produce and less long-life processed junk.

As for big purchases like TVs, washing machines etc, just get them delivered, it costs a bit extra sometimes but compared to the amount you save by not running a car a $20 delivery charge once or twice a year for a major purchase is nothing.

I use a mixture of transit and car so it's not an issue for me but i'd like to maybe get rid of the car some day and spend the money on something else instead.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 06:53 PM   #32
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What about personal shopping?
Public transport, especially in Milan.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 06:53 PM   #33
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Back to the topic: Of course using public transport after a big shopping tour is a bit of a hassle. But here in Germany some cities have kind of car-on-demand system. It works either as a classical car-sharing system (like in Hamburg) or similar to the Call-A-Bike system (like in Ulm).
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Old September 11th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #34
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There are also "combination tariffs" with local PT tariff areas. Here in the VRN area for example, people with a one-year PT pass are offered access to the car-sharing of a specific company at a 50% discharge on one-off starter payment and safety deposit. And VRN advertises for that company a bit (e.g. by noting car-sharing points in maps).

Only an option if you really use it like only for your one-off weekly shopping trip of say 2-3 hours and 10-15 km. Beyond that, it'll be cheaper to just buy an old beat-up car for 200 bucks, especially if you can sell it to Iraq for twice that once it loses its TÜV
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Old September 11th, 2009, 09:58 PM   #35
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What's wrong with Deutsche Bahn?
The company is an embarrassment for the whole country.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #36
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Urban Danes shop often and have shops within walking distance and get their groceries in bags that are heavy duty enough to carry the stuff home in..

There are delivery services, but it's normally only old people using it.. ( or in really rural areas )


You can easily bring a couple shopping bags on a bus or train, but few would bother bringing their groceries that far...

And the suburbanites well they are in their cars anyways so that is what they use..
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Old September 12th, 2009, 02:27 AM   #37
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Back to the topic: Of course using public transport after a big shopping tour is a bit of a hassle. But here in Germany some cities have kind of car-on-demand system. It works either as a classical car-sharing system (like in Hamburg) or similar to the Call-A-Bike system (like in Ulm).
Year, I've heard of them but never tried them. Are they any good?

Though I must say, I just call a taxi when I need to get home from shopping and it is too heavy.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #38
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I have never tried car-sharing. The few times I really needed a car, I asked friends or family who have a car. Taxi is too expensive for me.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 03:09 PM   #39
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It's usually not really worth the money. If you use these car-sharing schemes only for your weekly shopping trip, expect to usually shell out at least 30-40 Euro per month. Plus a safety deposit and initial charges that when combined you could almost buy a cheap old used car for (local endorsed scheme wants 460 Euro at the beginning, 230 Euro if you hold an annual PT pass, most of that in a safety deposit).

That said, it's actually possible pretty good to go shopping by PT here. Offhand, within city limits, i can think of at least 5 supermarkets in the city that are within 50m of a tram stop, and at least another 10 within 150m.

There's one Kaufland store here that is traditionally used by plenty of people coming in by PT - mostly older people and students. The tram and bus stop there pretty much serves no other purpose than that actually - 20m from the entrance to the supermarket.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #40
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I have never tried car-sharing. The few times I really needed a car, I asked friends or family who have a car. Taxi is too expensive for me.
One way is to negotiate the price into what you buy for the taxi. So, if you are buying a new TV and want it home straight away, first try and bargin a hundred euro's off it of cause, but if they refuse to budge, ask for the cost of your taxi taken off. If that is €10, then so be it. If they refuse to take €10 off then they are not worth doing business with. Otherwise, you get your TV and a free taxi home.

Always worked with me.

Can't work in a supermarket of cause, nor silly places like Ikea. But in a real shop buying furniture, appliances etc where you will need some form of transport to get home then it certainly is worth a go. It's also especially easy to bargain now as shops need all the sales they can get.
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