Shop opening hours
There are no longer any restrictions on shop opening hours from Monday to Saturday specified in the law on shopping hours in Baden-Württemberg. However the commercial sale of goods is generally not permitted on the following days:
- on Sundays and public holidays
- on 24th December
- If this day is a work day, it is not permitted to sell after 2 pm.
- If the 24th December falls on a Sunday, then retail outlets, which sell mainly food and luxury articles, as well as all selling points of Christmas trees are allowed to be open for a maximum of three hours at the latest until 2 pm.
Deviating from this, retail outlets may open for local feasts, markets, exhibitions or similar events on a maximum of three Sundays and public holidays a year for five hours but not later than 6 pm. However this does not apply to the advent and Christmas feast days as well as Easter Sunday and Whitsunday. The days and opening hours are to be specified by the relevant municipal offices/city council (Gemeinde-/Stadtverwaltung). In individual cases, these offices can also allow exceptions if they are of urgent public interest. In the procedure descriptions you can find out how to apply for these exceptions.
There are also legally specified exceptions for the following industries or goods respectively:
Pharmacies are also allowed to sell pharmaceutical products, nursing products, products for baby care and nutrition or sanitary products and disinfectants on Sundays and public holidays as well as on the 24th December after 2 pm. However they have to abide by a so-called rotation of services. I.e. that only some of the pharmacies may be open at one time. The Federal Chamber of Pharmacists specifies the rotation of services.
Note: The pharmacies on standby have to hang up a sign showing that they are on "standby" or their opening times in a visible place. The pharmacies, which are closed, have to attach a sign in a visible place announcing those pharmacies which are currently on duty. The Federal Chamber of Pharmacists offers pharmacy managers the option of printing out the emergency service plan for their own pharmacy (Rotation Calendar of the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists) (Turnuskalender der Landesapothekenkammer).
Service stations may only sell the following goods on Sundays and public holidays and on the 24th December after 2 pm. Travel necessities, consumables and spare parts, which are necessary to maintain or repair the vehicles function.
Consumables and spare parts include e.g. tyres, tyre-tubes, valves, spark plugs, fan belts, fuses, bulbs and batteries, as well as fuel and lubricants, antifreeze, distilled water and windscreen cleaning solution.
Travel necessities include newspaper, magazines, road maps, city maps, books for the journey, writing materials, tobacco products, cut flowers, toiletries for the journey, films, sound carriers, first-air kit for the journey, personal weather protection, souvenirs and low-value toys as well as food and luxury articles in small quantities.
Airports, railway stations and harbours
Retail outlets in the terminals of passenger airports and airfields, in passenger railway stations or in national harbours may sell travel necessities also on Sundays and public holidays and also on the 24th December after 2 pm.
There is an exception for retail outlets in passenger airports which are also able to sell other goods. However it is not permitted to exceed a specific total sales area based on the number of passengers per year.
Selling in health resorts, leisure areas, places of excursions and pilgrimages
Travel necessities, sport and bathing articles, devotional objects and goods, which are characteristic of the location, may be sold in places where excursions and pilgrimages are carried out on a maximum of 40 Sundays and public holidays per year for a duration of eight hours. The requirement is that
- the goods are sold exclusively or on a large scale and
- the responsible authorities (municipal administration/city council) (Gemeinde-/Stadtverwaltung) have specified the shop opening hours accordingly.
Note: Places of excursions and pilgrimages are specified by the administrative headquarters in consultation with the Sozialministerium.
This also applies to health resorts and leisure areas, if the responsible authorities (municipal administration/city council) (Gemeinde-/Stadtverwaltung) have also specified the shop opening hours taking the times of the main church services in the respective locations into consideration.
Shops, which mainly sell the following goods, are allowed to open on Sundays and public holidays:
- Fresh milk: for the duration of three hours
- Confectionery and fresh bakery products: for the duration of three hours
- Flowers, if you sell flowers on a large scale:
- for the duration of three hours
- On 1st November (All Saints’ Day), on Mother’s Day, on Remembrance Day, on Totensonntag (last Sunday before Advent commemorating the dead) and on the 1st Sunday in Advent for the duration of six hours
- Home-made farm produce in shops on agricultural premises, in farm shops and rural cooperative outlets: for the duration of six hours
Note: The exceptions mentioned above do not apply to Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Whitsunday.
- Newspapers, magazines: for the duration of six hours
- Accessories: while the principle service is being carried out, if they are in close proximity to each other
If you are the owner of such a retail outlet, then you have to publish the opening times on Sundays and public holidays in a visible manner.
Prohibition of alcoholic sales at night
No alcoholic drinks may be sold at retail outlets from 10 pm to 5 am. This sales ban does not apply to
- Farm shops as well as
- Retail outlets
- of agricultural cooperatives,
- of agricultural companies and
- in passenger airports within the terminal.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Sozialministerium released it on 29.06.2015. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.