April 8, 2020 / 7:05 PM / 2 months ago

Swiss drive-through garden centre aims to nurture jobs during coronavirus

Herbs are seen amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a drive-through-center for the sale of edible plants of Zulauf AG garden center in Schinznach-Dorf, Switzerland April 8, 2020. REUTER/Arnd Wiegmann

SCHNIZNACH-DORF, Switzerland (Reuters) - A Swiss entrepreneur has opened a drive-through garden centre in the hopes of nurturing employment rather than profits during the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Johannes Zulauf got the inspiration from seeing a similar arrangement for customers to drive up and buy tools in the United States. The idea was not so much to make money while his regular garden centre was closed, but rather to keep staff working.

Clients were snapping up fruit trees, seedlings and tomato plants on Wednesday at the drive-through site, which can handle 35 to 40 cars an hour.

“There would be more people interested but it’s not possible with our infrastructure,” Zulauf said, adding the operation and online sales were generating only 5%-7% of his business’s normal revenue.

Reporting by Arnd Wiegmann; Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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