What are chain markets

Annemarie and Eberhard Huste load toilet paper, wine, a large bag of frozen vegetables and much more into the trunk of their car in front of the Cunewald Lidl market. The couple from Obercunewalde have been shopping there twice a week - since the market near the “Blue Ball” opened 20 years ago. But she and the other customers won't be able to do that for much longer. Lidl closes on December 31st. “It's outrageous that they are leaving here,” the 67-year-old says indignantly. His wife is annoyed: “Then we have to go far to go shopping; to Weigsdorf-Köblitz, Löbau or Bautzen. "

In addition to the Hustes and many residents of Mittel- and Obercunewalde, Mayor Thomas Martolock (CDU) would like this not to be necessary. "I hope that we will find a solution in good time that will integrate not only the grocery store, but also the offers from bakers, butchers and flower shops," he says and reports with cautious optimism that something is already in sight. "There are two serious interested parties - not from Cunewalde, but from the region - who want to operate markets as franchisees for large chains," says Thomas Martolock. He doesn't go into details as long as nothing is finally clear. "Both still have to clarify the financing," he suggests.

The building on Czornebohstrasse, in which the Lidl supermarket is located and in which there was also a Schlecker supermarket until the bankruptcy, belongs to a private investor. Nevertheless, the community is very committed to a successor, has established contacts and moderated discussions. "We take people's concerns very seriously," the mayor explains. The worries about not having a store nearby in the future have been great since Lidl announced at the beginning of the year that it would close the store in Cunewalde. “You have to give the company credit for saying that eleven months in advance,” comments Thomas Martolock. It was thus possible to negotiate that the people of Cunewald can still do their Christmas shopping at the usual place. Lidl originally wanted to leave the house completely on December 31. That would have meant a previous sell-out and probably also an earlier closure. The reason for giving up the location is that the store no longer meets Lidl's requirements and has become too small. But the retail chain does not move, but leaves Cunewalde entirely.

Schlecker was the first blow

The mayor is happy that the owner of the building - a dentist from Saarbrücken - “is holding onto the property and not just seeing it as a depreciation object”. In 1992 he built the house with a total of 1,500 square meters of retail space. Lidl was there from the start. The Schlecker bankruptcy was the first blow for the owner, who only two years ago had invested a lot to bring the drugstore chain's store into shape. This area may even be included in the new solution - as a beverage market, Martolock reveals. - “Actually, we have far too much retail space in Cunewalde. There are five supermarkets for 5,000 residents. We are statistically oversupplied with that, ”says the mayor. However, the offers are unevenly distributed. A yellow Netto market, a black Netto market and a department store with Edeka products are located in Weigsdorf-Köblitz. The Oberlausitz shopping center is located where Weigsdorf-Köblitz merges into Niedercunewalde. The Lidl market is the only location in Mittelcunewalde, and there is no market in Obercunewalde.

Thomas Martolock is optimistic that at the end of November he will be able to announce exactly how things will continue at the “Blue Ball” location. “But then we also have to get people to use the new market and not follow Lidl, for example. We need local patriotism, ”he emphasizes.

That shouldn't fail because of Hustes. You definitely want to continue shopping on Czornebohstraße. “It doesn't matter what kind of shop it is. The main thing is that we don't have to go far, ”they say.