Can the centre hold? Germany looks to its Covid-stricken high streets

Minister battles to rescue retailers amid fears for 50,000 shops and hundreds of thousands of jobs

The stakes for Germany’s high streets could not be greater when the economics minister, Peter Altmaier, summons trade representatives across the country this month for a series of crisis workshops to discuss how to save them from collapse.

In Germany, as elsewhere across Europe and beyond, the coronavirus pandemic has blown a huge hole in street retail – accelerating the decline in footfall precipitated by the rise of online shopping.

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