Edeka’s Hamburg store has made a very public point about racism and diversity by emptying its shelves of foreign products:
The aim of this stunt was to emphasize the importance of global diversity in a way that everyone can understand, so signs were made to help shoppers understand: “So empty is a shelf without foreigners,” “This shelf is quite boring without variety,” “Our range now knows borders,” and, “We will be poorer without diversity.”
The supermarket chain will apparently roll out the campaign in other stores as discussions surrounding immigration continues to heats up in the run-up to German federal elections in September. The immigration issue has dominated German politics since 2015 when Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the country would welcome one million refugees fleeing war-ravaged Syria two years ago. The chosen city for this stunt is a prominent feature of the campaign – Hamburg is the second most populous city in Germany, with immigrants making up almost 15% of the population. Consequently, Angela Merkel is now expressing a desire to roll-back the open door policy, especially since stats such as a rise in migrant-related crime has contributed towards growing anti-immigrant and xenophobic sentiment in the country.
Reactions to the stunt have received mixed responses, especially in the political sphere. I think it’s a fantastic, real life analogy of how important immigration and diversity is to a country and its economy. It would be exactly the same here in London!
Edeka stands for variety and diversity. In our stores we sell numerous foods which are produced in the various regions of Germany. … But only together, with products from other countries, it is possible to create the unique variety that our consumers value. We are pleased that our campaign caused so many positive reactions.