Shoppers can buy gold as easily as chocolate
Shoppers in Germany will soon be able to buy gold as easily as bars of chocolate after a firm announced plans to install vending machines selling the precious metal across the country.
TG-Gold-Super-Markt aims to introduce the machines at 500 locations including train stations and airports in Germany. The company, based near Stuttgart, hopes to tap into the increasing interest in buying gold following disillusionment in other investments due to the economic downturn.
Gold prices from the machines – about 30% higher than market prices for the cheapest product – will be updated every few minutes.
Customers using a prototype ‘Gold to Go’ machine at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday had the choice of purchasing a 1g wafer of gold for €30, a 10g bar for €245, or gold coins.
Thomas Geissler, who owns the company behind the idea, said: ‘German investors have always preferred to hold a lot of personal wealth in gold, for historical reasons. They have twice lost everything. Gold is a good thing to have in your pocket in uncertain times.’
Interest in gold has risen during the financial crisis, particularly in Germany, according to GFMS, the London-based precious metals consultancy. Retail demand reached an estimated 108 tonnes in 2008, up from 36 tonnes in 2007 and 28 tonnes in 2006.
Jens Willenbockel, an investment banker who saw the machine while passing through the airport, told the Financial Times that he believed there could be a market for the venture.
‘Because of the crisis there is a lot of awareness of gold,’ he said. ‘It is also a great gift for children – for them getting gold is like a fairytale.’
CLICK HERE FOR MORE WORLD NEWS