Even with Spielwaren Reiterle, former game boss “Kurtz” Bernd Stoker can’t survive on the market floor. The shop closes at the end of the month. Why didn’t you work again?
You cannot do business with passion alone. Otherwise, the best dreams will eventually die at the exit. Bernd Stocker now had to submit to this sobering fact. Traditional toy store owner Reiterle, formerly known as Kurtz, has pulled the emergency brakes these days: “It’s no longer possible,” he told this newspaper. “There was no perspective.”
This is more bitter for him because He revived the Spielwaren Kurtz project with a lot of heart and soul Will be. Textile merchant Bellybutton acquired all of Kurtz in 2020 and then stocked them with a collection that included only about 20 percent of the toys. This reset was unsuccessful. This gave Stocker the opportunity to recharge the brand, which has been around since 1833, with emotions. At the end of March this year it reopened at Sporerstraße 8 with the motto “Play dreams come true”.
At the end of the month, it’s over
We want regional Identification card And he gathered his old team around him, Stocker said at the time, with whom he had already worked in the same role between 2000 and 2005. It’s very painful that Stoker said to these colleagues specifically: “Given the current situation, and from our point of view, the difficult retail situation Continuing in Stuttgart, we unfortunately have to inform you that we are closing the traditional store Play Reiterleformerly Kurtz, will have to close at the end of the month.”
The reasons for the closure are complex. Of course, Stocker also lists the problems currently affecting all retailers in the country: “The changing consumption habits after two years of the pandemic, the war situation in Ukraine that has been imposed on everything since February 2022, as well as the overheating crisis and inflation in Germany mean that we We fail to meet our sales targets. At the same time, we are affected by significant cost increases that make it economically impossible to continue operating.”
But at the same time, he and other downtown retailers have problems specific to Stuttgart. This was recently clarified by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), the Stuttgart City Initiative, the Dehoga gastro association and the trade union in a joint written letter to the city administration and Mayor Frank Knober (CDU). The reason was the situation on Saturday, November 12, when a heavy police presence with water cannons accompanied a large demonstration in the market square.
Stoker also criticizes this development. Like other traders, he asks himself: what next? For stocker and retailer Stuttgart, the water cannons, which are used by police and security authorities around the world, are a symbol of the city’s full development. In short: the city has become a tough place for retailers. “The current lack of attractiveness of Stuttgart, the lack of seamless connectivity to the surrounding area by local public transport, and the large number of meetings and demonstrations in the city center, lead to a significant decrease in frequency in the city and especially here at Sporerstrasse 8.”
It is difficult to get to the city
Stoker addresses issues that have been discussed for a long time: the poor accessibility of the city from the surrounding area and the area, the traffic situation in the city and the sense of safety among visitors. City manager Sven Hahn sums it up: “Discussions about missing parking spaces, driving bans and insufficient expansion of public transport complete the problematic picture. Not to mention delays on the S-Bahn for various reasons.” He adds: “Getting to Stuttgart is expensive and sometimes difficult, and contentment Aspects like parking spaces are exceptionally poor compared to other big cities.” Make sure this isn’t an instinctive feeling, but rather the opinion of visitors.
He complains that local politicians sometimes use bad, wrong numbers on crucial issues: “Many discussions are based on feelings, personal preferences, individual observations, or ideological beliefs.” On the other hand, he takes his knowledge from studying. Representative results were presented by the Institute for Business Research (IFH) in Cologne. Since then, it has become clear that 50.1 percent of those surveyed come to Stuttgart from outside the city on Saturdays. For Hahn, but also for all service providers, merchants, restaurateurs and organizers, this means that if about half of the visitors come from abroad, their journey does not have to be unnecessarily difficult. The infrastructure involved must be correct. If nothing changes from the point of view of retailers, the list of traditional store closures will soon become longer. And names like Maute Benger on Königstrasse or Spielwaren Kurtz are just the beginning.