The plastic-free “Frohnatur” business has no customers. This is also due to the road situation in the upper Kaiser-Max-Strasse, says co-founder Tobias Bauer.
In the midst of the pandemic, with most of the shops in the center of Kaufbeuren closed, a plastic-free ‘Frohnatur’ shop opened. The Corona period was difficult, says co-founder Tobias Bauer. But inflation hits them even harder.
Now there are days when even 20 people do not enter the store, says Bauer. Usually it is between 40 and 50 years old. “Something has to urgently change. If no more people come now, we’ll have to cancel it sooner or later. “
Prices have also risen sharply at the unpackaged store in Kaufbeur
Initially, they did not want to pass the increased prices on to customers, but at one point they had no choice. Sunflower seed frying oil now costs almost twice as much, while the prices of other products have increased by several percent. “Some people go into the store and say,” I’d like to buy from you, but I can’t afford it. “
They would also have little room for maneuver themselves. Many things are simply not available to them, such as eco certification or more employees for advertising campaigns. Meanwhile, a lot of private property has poured into the unpackaged store, says Bauer.
Then the initiators launched a crowdfunding campaign to secure initial funding for the grocery store. More than EUR 56,000 was collected in this way. “We found people really liked it.”
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Their regular customers remained loyal to them despite inflation and the corona crisis. On the other hand, there are still many people from the region who do not even know the shop without packaging. Even though it opened over two years ago.
Maybe they were a bit naive as side participants, says Bauer. Today he knows that running a shop and placing chairs in front of it is not enough.
The “Frohnatur” team wants to participate in the camp life in Kaufbeuren this year
To advertise their activities, the “Frohnatur” team wants to be represented by a stand at the new brunch market and also to participate in camp life. The group would also like to establish contact with local companies and associations and expand the range of services in the cafe.
The Frohnatur team recently drew attention to their situation with an emotional appeal on social media. The message: if shoppers want a plastic-free shop in their city, they have to shop there too.
But neither of these solutions solves one problem: there are simply no customers arriving at the upper Kaiser-Max-Strasse, says Bauer. Almost no people, but cars everywhere. Bauer is clearly in favor of calming the traffic in the old town. “You just have to dare to do something.”
How will Kaufbeuren city center be attractive?
The aim should be to make the city center more attractive as a vacation and excursion destination. It is “cheeky” to have a store like Storebox, a warehouse, in a prime location on Kaiser-Max-Strasse. Instead, it needs shops and restaurants that will attract more people to the city.
“Back then, we were happy to have the courage to revive the void in the old town,” says Oliver Schill. The “Frohnatur” team found a comrade-in-arms in the mayor of Kaufbeuren.
Also because Schill hopes that other people will follow in their footsteps and open unusual stores as well. Sometimes he lacks “madness” in Kaufbeuren. It would be all the sadder if such a store had not survived.
Even though Corona’s demands dropped a while ago, it still feels like “the city is wrapped in cotton.” Bauer agrees that people are used to staying at home and ordering online. A spirit of optimism is needed now, says Schill.