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Um-Bruch oder Um-Entwicklung?: Veränderungen der Einzelhandelssituation in den Mittelstädten desHarzvorlandes sechs Jahre nach der Wende

Break or redevelopment?: changes in retail trade in medium-sized towns of the Harz foothills six years after the opening of the wall
[journal article]

Nipper, Josef; Nutz, Manfred

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Abstract A process of change has been progressing in Eastern Germany since the radical change of the end of 1989. The results of this could neither have been predicted, nor accounted for in planning. The change in the retail trade situation is described by this study, using the example of the town triangle of Halberstadt, Quedlinburg and Wernigerode, located in the Eastern Harz foothills. Based on the mapping for users and population and retail trader surveys in the years 1991, 1993 and 1995, the supply structure and the purchasing behaviour were analysed. Additionally, suggested changes were analysed in the course of this period of time. In this region, the city centres have approached the standard of Western cities, depending on the building conditions. Many business have been founded and textile and clothing stores have expended the most. On the other hand, the number of food stores decreased. Despite the retail traders' willingness to take risks and a constant level of demand, the expectations of the businessmen have not been fulfilled. Whereas the Western German shopping centres were a threatening source of competition immediately after the wall came down, nowadays the threat comes from the large, non-integrated shopping centres in the region. The purchasing behaviour of the population has changed noticeably during the analysed period. Whereas shopping trips to the Western states only play an important role for clothing, the large shopping centres attract many customers -even for daily, basic needs- away from the city centres. The historical city centres are not able to cope with the growing volume of traffic and can in no way match the number of convenient parking lots offered by the shopping centres. Whereas the retail traders regarded the beautiful cityscape as being very important directly after the reunification, the improvement of the traffic situation has now adopted a predominant role in increasing the attractiveness of the cities. The desires of the population for a larger and more inexpensive supply of goods in the city centres have been partially fulfilled, however the demands for an improvement in the number of city-centre parking lots have become louder. Within a short period of time, the radical change has created facts which did not allow for any real chance of development in the city centres and which could be regarded as being a foundation for the future. Depending on the structural characteristics, the different business centres have been attected differently. Therefore, the cities must pursue different concepts, depending on their own particular potential.
Keywords Federal Republic of Germany; Saxony-Anhalt; town; structural change; retail trade; New Federal States; market economy; regional development; economic development (on national level); meeting demand; population
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Economic Sectors
Document language German
Publication Year 1995
Page/Pages p. 15-24
Journal Europa Regional, 3.1995 (1995) 4
ISSN 0943-7142
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications