Germany’s discount chain shops offer bargains on just about anything

German discount store KiK | Photo by Oleksandr Lutsenko
German discount store KiK | Photo by Oleksandr Lutsenko

Germany’s discount chain shops offer bargains on just about anything

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

You are now leaving the American Sector and the land of Dollar General and Dollar Tree. "Herzlich Willkommen" to the country of EuroShop and Tedi!

The delights of shopping at German supermarkets are generally discovered early into a posting here. But have you yet set foot in the plethora of shops that cater to the rest of the daily needs of the local population? From fry pans to flip-flops, pansies to pens, here’s a brief intro to just some of the many chains in your midst, and what you just might manage to rustle up there. Where do you go on a hunt for bargains when you can’t be bothered to drive to the Px?

Action
Locations near U.S. bases: Ansbach, Idar-Oberstein, Kaiserslautern, Ramstein-Miesenbach, Sindelfingen, Weiden, Wiesbaden.

There are over 1,500 Action shops scattered throughout Europe. The chain prides itself on offering over 6000 products and some 150 new articles each week. Among the 14 categories of goods sold are items for home improvement, multimedia, personal hygiene, care of bikes and autos, toys, household, office and leisure time.

Love it for: affordable sportswear and cut-rate prices on name-brand cosmetics.

EuroShop
Locations near U.S. bases: Amberg, Mainz, Stuttgart, Weiden, Wiesbaden

There are some 350 EuroShops scattered across Germany. The motto of this store is now “everything for 1.10 euros,” and here shoppers willing to take the time to peruse will find just about anything, including party supplies, candy, spices, drug store and beauty items, sewing kits, scissors and crafts supplies.

Love it for: lots of little things to keep the kitchen tidy and organized; a place to pick up silly souvenirs for friends and family back home.

Ernsting's Family
Locations near U.S. bases: Bitburg, Idar-Oberstein, Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl, Stuttgart, Weiden, Wiesbaden

This chain is made up of some 1,900 stores in Germany and Austria. Their goods fall across the categories of fashion for men, women and children, lingerie, home décor and toys.

Love it for: the store offers cute fashions for little folks.

KiK
Locations near U.S. bases: Bitburg, Kaiserslautern, Idar-Oberstein, Landstuhl, Weilerbach, Weiden, Wiesbaden

KiK is an acronym for Kunde ist König, “The customer is king,” and claims its place in the discount stakes with not only household and office goods, but a broad range of clothing. It operates around 3,500 stores in Germany alone. A planned launch of stores in the U.S. Midwest is presently on hold in favor of plans for further expansion throughout Europe.

Love it for: inexpensive clothing for the whole family, babywear and lingerie.

NKD
Locations near U.S. bases: Bitburg, Idar-Oberstein, Kaiserslautern, Ramstein-Miesenbach, Stuttgart, Weiden, Wiesbaden

The letters NKD stand for “Niedrig Kalkuliert Discount,” or Low Calculated Discount, and there are some 1,800 branches of the shop in Europe. The line ranges from clothing to home textiles, along with small items for home comfort and garden decor.

Love it for: seasonal fashion, such as Oktoberfest themed T-shirts.

RL-Fundgrube
Locations near U.S. bases: Fuerth am Wald, Kusel, Landstuhl Petersburg (just north of Pirmasens), Windsbach (east of Ansbach), Wiesbaden.

This German version of a job-lots store has around 40 shops Germany-wide. It offers an eclectic mix of household décor and appliances, textiles, cleaning supplies, food including dry and canned goods, candy, spices, and wine, furniture, tools, and everything needed for the garden.

Love it for: its cut-rate prices on all kinds of plants from geraniums to tomato seedlings.

Takko Fashion
Locations near U.S. bases: Bitburg, Idar-Oberstein, Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl, Sindelfingen, Stuttgart, Weiden, Wiesbaden

This store sells clothing for men, women and children, as well as accessories, lingerie, bathing suits, sportswear and a plus-size range for women.

Love it for: when stuff doesn’t sell, it gets marked down drastically. Look for various sales, including additional discounts of already reduced items.

Tedi
Locations near U.S. bases: Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl, Rodenbach, Stuttgart, Weiden, Wiesbaden

Tedi counts about 2,150 stores, with at least 15,000 products on offer in each store, in eight countries around Europe. Its wares include household items, party supplies, DIY items, electrical goods, stationery, toys and cosmetics.

Love it for: a wide range of arts and crafts supplies, notebooks, glittery stickers and handy gadgets for the kitchen.

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