When are supermarkets busiest?

Later shop closing leads to more jobs in the supermarket

The researchers have now compared the years 2005 and 2007 - before and after liberalization. In 2005, a grocery store in Bavaria had an average of 10.19 employees - 0.53 fewer than in the comparable countries. Two years later the difference has grown to 0.94 employees per shop.

"The easing of the opening times resulted in an increase in employment in food retailing by 0.41 employees per store in the other federal states," the study says. "That corresponds to an employment effect of around four percent."

Employment in large stores was increased

The main jobs that have been created are for part-time employees and mini-jobbers, less so for full-time employees. Besides, deregulation has only increased employment in large stores. With longer opening times, as in other federal states, the Bavarian food retail trade today would possibly give 3,700 additional employees work, the researchers conclude. However, there are currently no signs of a political majority in favor of liberalization.

It is by no means a given that longer shop opening hours increase employment. Because it could well have been that fewer customers come in the core hours and thus fewer staff are needed overall.

On the other hand, a minimum number of employees is required in order to be able to keep a shop open at all. And longer opening times could increase retail sales and thus increase labor demand.

In their study, the researchers focused on the food retail sector, because it is primarily this sector that uses the more liberal opening times and is less affected by Internet trade than other branches of trade.

Because of the corona crisis, grocery stores are temporarily allowed to open until 10 p.m. in Bavaria. The possible employment effects caused by this could not be reliably quantified in their analysis, the researchers write: "Because the economic framework conditions in times of Corona are quite obviously completely different than before."

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