WHATALOCATION in the House of Representatives

On 11.12.2023, the 27th meeting of the Committee for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises took place in the Berlin House of Representatives. In addition to Nils Busch-Petersen, Managing Director of Handelsverband Berlin-Brandenburg e. V., I was also invited to the official hearing as Managing Director of WHATALOCATION. Retailer Anja Schröder was also part of the expert panel. The ever-popular topic: Friedrichstrasse in Berlin.

Since the traffic trial in Friedrichstrasse, we know ... well - what do we actually know? The fact is that the press, retailers, politicians and the like immediately get their pulse racing when they talk about the former boulevard. During the post-pandemic period, the traffic trial was canceled and this was the starting signal for all kinds of speculation about its success and failure. However, the data available to date on the influence of visitors on trade and gastronomy is insufficient to gain valid insights into the traffic experiment.

The WHATALOCATION team was asked by the parliamentary groups to investigate the mobility of Friedrichstrasse. I was consulted with the aim of finally creating facts:

The conclusion is obvious: the experiment was unintentionally carried out at a time when there was no normal mobility, purchasing or consumer behavior among citizens. After all, Friedrichstrasse is not a mature retail location and a lack of office frequency naturally has a very rapid impact on stationary consumption. If you take all the factors together, it is impossible to say whether the trial had a negative or positive impact on gastronomy and retail. The impact of the pandemic and its consequences simply weigh too heavily to make a clear comparison.

Of course, not everyone likes this insight. The participants' questions were correspondingly sober. The session lasted almost 3 hours, so here is the Qicklink directly to my answers to the questions:

After all, it is not footfall that determines a retailer's success. Countless WHATALOCATION customers know this and, thanks to data-based location analyses, are able to adapt to the dynamic changes in a location. Looking to the past is only of limited use in gaining insights. At least the media got the core message of our analysis right, which I am very grateful for.

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