Survey: Americans based in Grafenwöhr prefer to shop on-post
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — Americans based at Grafenwöhr do most of their shopping on-post and use the Internet to shop for many of the things they do not need immediately, according to results of a survey carried out in January and February.
The survey of 83 Americans was conducted by University of Bayreuth graduate student Tobias Schwemmer with the help of the U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwöhr’s public affairs office.
The 27-year-old Schwemmer conducted the survey for his thesis on “The Impact of the Shopping Habits and Leisure Time Behavior of Americans on the Service Structure of a Garrison City Based on the Example of Grafenwöhr.”
The survey showed most Americans shop on-post at Grafenwöhr, a conclusion unlikely to surprise many people given the rapid fall of the U.S. dollar against the euro in recent years. The dollar is trading for 0.7025 euros under the latest military rate.
“Americans especially shop on post for goods they need every day like food and drink. When they need furniture they also shop mostly on post but also shop in Grafenwöhr, Weiden, Amberg and Nurnberg,” Schwemmer said.
The quality of the products offered on the local economy was rated average to good, but the prices were considered too high compared with those at the local U.S. facilities, he said in comments forwarded by Army public affairs officials.
Some who responded to the survey also stated that they often do not find what they are looking for because German stores often do not offer the types of products U.S. customers seek, especially in regard to clothes and groceries.
“That hopefully serves as an incentive for the local shops to evaluate their product range,” said Schwemmer, who added that the survey also showed that Americans do not mind spending money if they get the quality and the product they want.
One third of the people surveyed said they use the Internet to shop, especially for things they do not need every day, he said.
The survey also asked Americans about leisure activities.
Results showed U.S. residents of Grafenwöhr prefer local restaurants and bars when they spend time off-post.
When asked what was missing in Grafenwöhr, the majority of responses mentioned a lack of public parks and an indoor pool.
Most U.S. residents stated that they regularly use the German post office and banks as well as local insurance companies, he said.
“Overall, I was very pleased to see that the services offered in Grafenwöhr as well as the image of the city were rated as positive and the people as friendly and helpful,” Schwemmer said.
“However, the survey also clearly showed that Americans who have German friends more frequently shop in German stores than those who do not socialize with Germans regularly,” he said.
Most Americans prefer socializing with the local population at public events such as festivals rather than joining German clubs or organizations, he said.
Since he prepared the survey, Schwemmer has submitted his thesis and graduated with a master’s degree in economic geography and regional planning.