Eight weeks after the launch of the first rolling supermarket, REWE and Deutsche Bahn (DB) are drawing a first positive balance. People in northern Hesse are responding well to the shopping bus. Many communities also want to bring the service to their towns and villages. REWE and DB are therefore extending the timetable to include eight additional villages.
The experience of the first few weeks has shown that customers like to do their shopping as soon as the bus arrives. Against this background, REWE and DB are reducing the loitering times at the individual stations in order to be able to include more locations in the route. In this way, the shopping bus will serve up to five locations daily in the future and even more people will benefit from the mobile local supplier. In many towns and villages, the shopping bus now serves not only as a popular shopping option, but also as a social meeting place.
Jürgen Scheider, Chairman of the Management Board of REWE Mitte: "Our goal is, on the one hand, to guarantee local supply again. But we also want to create new 'food points' for local people and thus contribute to the upgrading of the rural area. And we seem to be succeeding in this."
Frank Klingenhöfer, Member of the Board of DB Regio AG: "The shopping bus is a real success. With the new schedule, we are bringing everyday necessities right to more people's doorsteps. This way, the shopping bus replaces further car journeys for everyday errands and enables people without their own car to participate more. This benefits people, the region and the climate."
Jörn Berszinski, self-employed REWE merchant: "We are pleased about the good response to our shopping bus and the approval of the population. Our first finding is that where the communities get involved with their own campaigns, customer frequency is particularly high."
REWE merchant Jörn Berszinski takes the customers' wishes into account and constantly adapts the offer. Even more fresh and regional foods are now on board, including many with the "Bio aus Hessen" and "Geprüfte Qualität Hessen" quality and origin labels. Even the baked goods now come from a bakery in the region. In the meantime, some local suppliers are also taking advantage of the arrival of the shopping bus to offer their goods in parallel, such as their own honey, eggs or meat and sausage products.
This is how the shopping bus works
The shopping bus comes to various towns in the districts of Kassel, Schwalm-Eder and Waldeck-Frankenberg at fixed times. With 700 different products, the range corresponds to that of a regular supermarket and includes fresh fruit and vegetables, chilled fresh produce and frozen products, as well as beverages and cosmetics.
DB subsidiary DB Regio Bus Mitte is responsible for operating and maintaining the shopping bus. The 18-meter bus was converted for use as a supermarket. Compared with a regular service bus, additional air-conditioning units, among other things, ensure pleasant shopping. With high-performance batteries, the market can operate for up to eight hours without an external power supply.
For the regional transport of the future, DB Regio is focusing on connecting rural regions with networked mobility services on rail and road. This is precisely where the shopping bus comes in and is intended to help reduce private car journeys. DB Regio Bus is thus continuing its successful series of good area services. DB Regio Bus already operates seven so-called "Medibus" with medical equipment on board. They are on the road as rolling medical practices or for mobile first aid and vaccination campaigns in rural regions.
For more information: Deutschebahn.com