Since the dawn of the Internet, online shopping has expanded the boundaries of retail beyond the store's physical location. Just recently Amazon bought the grocery store chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion.
Over the years, online shopping has proven to have its advantages and disadvantages. Shoppers are able to accessalmost an unlimited number of choices when it comes to products and prices 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Storesare able to expand beyond their local setting without the burdensome necessity of constructing other physical locations. It has given rise to corporate icons such as Amazon, eBay, and Overstock.
However, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to his or her perspectives and opinions concerning online shopping. Local "mom-and-pop" stores express frustrationwhen potential customers merely walk in to see what products they want and then immediately go to their phones to see which online retailer offers a better deal. But in the expanding globalized economy of the 21st century it makes sense that online shopping would be treated differently by different cultures. This gets to the heart of the reason why online shopping clashes with Sundays in Europe, and Germany more specifically.
There is currently a movement of German retailersparticipating in the initiative titled "Selbstbestimmter Sonntag" or "self-determined Sunday," including companies such as Karstadt and Kaufhof. The initiative's supporters are calling for shops to be open on Sundays in order to stay competitivewith online retailers. On the other hand, the German Green party of Lower Saxony have tackled this issue from the opposite point of view. They want to limit the opening hoursof online trading meaning that customers may place orders on Sundays but they would not be processed until Monday.
The Green Party leader Stefan Körner told the news agency dpa, "It is sufficient, however, if the processing of the orderhappens on Monday. Then the employees do not have to stay the whole weekend." The measure with which the Greens are trying to "defend Sunday" received support from German Unions such as ver.di and at the same time received pushback from online retailers. The president of Bundesverband Onlinehandel (BVOH), Oliver Prothmann criticized the proposal:
"Any thinking of restriction or regulation is a step backward. [...] In the future, it may be the wish of consumers to have the order already on Sunday or at the latest on Monday [...]. It is precisely the Greens, as a consumer's party, that should not introduce these restrictions but look to the future of the consumer."