City administration appeal denied

Court shuts down Sunday shopping in Bonn

Tausende Lichter weisen jetzt den Weg ins Shoppingvergnügen – hier die festlich illuminierte Sternstraße.

A court ruled that Sunday shopping on December 9 and 16 in Bonn will not be permitted.

BONN. There will be no Sunday shopping this weekend in Bonn, nor the following weekend in Bad Godesberg. An appeal from the City of Bonn was rejected by a high court in Münster.

In both Bonn city center and in Bad Godesberg, there will be no Sundays open for business before Christmas. Trade union Verdi got a Cologne court to block the city from the planned store openings.  The City of Bonn then appealed the ruling to a higher court in Münster, but the appeal was denied.

The Münster higher court followed the reasoning of the administrative court in Cologne, stating that the city administration made procedural errors. The city administration should have let the city council decide on the exact dates of the Sunday openings (December 9 in Bonn city center and December 16 in Bad Godesberg) instead of relying on a previous city council decision from 2017.  The judges do not consider this procedure to be compatible with the store opening laws that apply to North Rhine-Westphalia.

Secondly, the Münster court said the city had defined the locations for store openings too broadly.  It would have meant that stores which were not in the immediate vicinity of the Christmas markets could have also opened up for Sunday shopping.  The focus would no longer be on the Christmas market in the city center, but on the opening of the shops themselves.  This contradicts the regulation on Sunday shopping as there must be an appropriately large occasion for businesses to be permitted to open in the immediate vicinity.

Karina Kröber of the City Marketing Association was disappointed in the decision and had hoped the shops would be permitted to open this Sunday. "This is no service to anyone. Our goal is the same as that of the trade union, namely to preserve jobs and the urbanity of the city. With this decision, only online trade will be further encouraged". The fact that the city administration apparently made procedural mistakes "is bad for us, but mistakes are made," says Kröber. She also said they had offered to talk to representatives of the trade union Verdi but no talks had taken place.

Markus Schmitz from the city press office said they had hoped for a different decision for both businesses and shoppers.  The reasons that led to the rejection of the appeal are now being evaluated. Orig. text: Philipp Königs, Lisa Inhoffen Translation: Carol Kloeppel