Edeka creates 8,000 new jobs as discount sector profits in crisis

Food discount giant Edeka, whose merger with the Plus stores has been approved, plans to create 8,000 new jobs this year as the global financial crisis sends more people to cheaper shops, its CEO says.

Edeka creates 8,000 new jobs as discount sector profits in crisis
Photo: DPA

Markus Mosa told the Hamburger Abendblatt that he was not only planning on keeping all those employed by Plus, but also be expanding the business and this would be reflected in staff figures.

“We have taken on all 25,000 staff from Plus and will also be keeping them,” he said.

“With Edeka there will be more than 8,000 new jobs on top of that in this year alone.

“In the next few years every second Euro will be spent at discounters. Until now the market share has been 42 percent. The trend is unbroken, and it is aided by the current crisis.”

Mosa also said that he expected food prices to decrease in 2009, despite a rise of around five percent this year.

“The price rises of suppliers which we had to accept during 2008, will now at least partly be reversed and we will of course pass this advantage onto consumers,” he said.

Edeka got the green light to complete its takeover of the 2,340 Plus shops at the start of December, making it the third largest discount supermarket in Germany with revenue of more than €11 billion.

The top German discounter is Aldi with revenue of €27 billion last year, followed by Lidl with €12 billion.


Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.