Ladenhüter (“shop guard”): That‘s how Germans refer to a product that sells very poorly

literally: “shop guard” / meaning: a product that sales very poorly

What do Lady Gaga’s Artpop album, Windows Vista and Chrystal Pepsi have in common? They were all gathering dust on the retail shelves without many people taking any interest in them.

On a positive note, they had a good overview of what’s happening at the store for quite some time. That’s why Germans fondly refer to flopped products as Ladenhüter. For example, the German national jersey from the 2018 World Cup was often called that way. For reasons I am not keen to talk about. Another epic German sales failure was Mercedes’ misguided attempt to produce an electric SUV, the EQC. Yes, even an Exportweltmeister can screw up miserably.

A ray of hope for manufacturers of failed products: Even some later bestsellers were originally Ladenhüter—including, for example, the Lord of the Rings saga by J.R.R. Tolkien. Who knows, maybe Windows Vista will make an acclaimed comeback after all.



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