Social and sustainable: the social market in the Donau Zentrum
After initial difficulties, authorized signatory Michael Berger is pleased that the social market in the Donau Zentrum has been well received.

Mr. Berger, Sozialmarkt Wien has been around since 2008, and last autumn another branch was opened in the Donau Zentrum. Who is behind the Vienna Social Market and why did you decide to establish a new location in the Donau Zentrum?
The Sozialmarkt in the Donau Zentrum is now the fifth branch of the Samariterbund in Vienna and the second of the Samariterbund Floridsdorf-Donaustadt, which is an independent company. We have therefore decided to open another store, as the need for facilities of this kind is unfortunately continuing to grow. Our location in the Donau Zentrum was also chosen because we want to reduce organic waste together with the Donau Zentrum and the resulting short transport routes are an enormous advantage for the environment.

Do you receive support from the Donau Zentrum or from companies in the Donau Zentrum?
Yes, without the support of the Donau Zentrum, the implementation of this project would certainly not have been possible. Both the responsible management and, above all, the tenants in the Donau Zentrum support us in every respect.

Is anyone allowed to shop at the social supermarket or are there rules that need to be observed?
In order to be allowed to shop in a social supermarket, you need a shopping authorization, which you can apply for directly in the supermarket. To obtain this authorization, customers must present a number of documents: ID, registration form and also proof of income, as income must not exceed the following limits: Individuals 1,238 euros (12 times per year), couples 1,856 euros and per child 371 euros.

The shelves in the store are well stocked. Where do you source your products from?
Most of the products come directly from the Donau Zentrum. Many stores now support us and bring the goods directly to us in the store. Our employees sort out the products there and then fill the shelves.

How have the first few months at the Donau Zentrum been?
Even at the opening, you could see that customers were delighted with the new store. We are also allowed to issue new shopping permits every day. Nevertheless, there were teething problems in the first few months. The location is quite remote, so customers have to search for us for a while on their first visit.

Do you notice people who have to get over themselves to enter the social market?
Of course there are people who don't want to be seen shopping in the social supermarket. This "threshold anxiety" is usually quickly overcome and we are able to welcome customers back to the supermarket quickly.

Thank you very much for this information. Do you have anything else on your mind?
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your support!