For one day, the largest German supermarket chain focused on making a point about the importance of ethnic diversity.
In Germany, immigration is a major issue ahead of the federal elections coming in September. Edeka – one of the largest German supermarket chains – cleared its shelves with the hopes of making a statement about the importance of immigrants and foreigners.
It exclusively sold German food for an entire day.
In shining a spotlight on the importance of ethnic diversity, Edeka’s staff removed everything but German products from their shelves for an entire business day. According to Bored Panda, many shoppers assumed the store had forgotten to stock the shelves the night before. In reality, the store purposely emptied the shelves. Foreign products were nowhere in sight.
Signs throughout the store informed customers why the shelves were empty.
Edeka’s staff placed signs on empty shelves throughout the store explaining why the store was so barren. One sign read, “So empty is a shelf without foreigners.” A second display sign said, “This shelf is quite boring without diversity.”
Items often found in a modern German home, such as Greek olives and Spanish tomatoes, were unavailable for purchase. According to a spokesperson of Edeka, the supermarket chain thrives on diversity.
“Edeka stands for diversity, and we produce a wide range of food in our assortment, which is produced in the different regions of Germany. But it is together with products from other countries that we create the unique diversity that our customers value.”
People have positively responded to the supermarket’s campaign against racism.
Given Germany’s mixed feelings toward immigration, the positive responses Edeka has received regarding their campaign against racism is both shocking and exciting. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her political party faced heavy criticism after allowing over a million refugees into Germany. This grocery store campaign, however, reveals ethnic diversity and foreigners are valuable.
Social media platforms – such as Twitter and Instagram – quickly lit up with positive responses. Some Twitter users even went as far as questioning why more business establishments didn’t try doing the same thing. Others suggested immigrant workers going on strike was another grand idea.
One stunned shopper claimed the German supermarket resembled a Communist Cuban grocery store with such barren shelves.
Many suspect the supermarket chain will roll the racism campaign to other stores as debates involving immigration in Germany continue to heat up ahead of the federal elections. Julia Klöckner, a member of Merkel’s political party, believes Edeka’s racism campaign was a “wise move.”
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