The German division of the Peek & Cloppenburg KG department store chain is adapting itself to the changed market conditions and other external and internal factors. In order to accelerate the company's restructuring process, which has been triggered by the crisis, the management filed an application for protective shield proceedings with the competent district court in Düsseldorf. All 67 stores of the Group in Germany as well as the online store will remain open without restriction.
The Peek & Cloppenburg (Düsseldorf) Group, with headquarters in Düsseldorf and Vienna, has established itself as one of the largest multi-brand fashion retailers in Europe.
Accessible via six online stores and centrally located in over 160 retail stores, P&C is an omnichannel provider offering customers a selection of curated fashion trends from premium labels, hip young brands and innovative exclusive brands.
Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf has launched protective shield proceedings in order to adapt to the changed market conditions in Germany and to reposition itself for the future.
The protective shield is a court-ordered restructuring procedure under which the company will work out the measures required for restructuring and reorganization in a targeted manner under its own responsibility and implement them in the short term. As a result of the present court order, the management of the company remains in the hands of the executive board during the restructuring process. It remains authorized to issue instructions and take action.
Crises have changed customer behavior
In 2020 and 2021, the COVID 19 pandemic led to a massive slump in sales at Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf, which put a great strain on the company's liquidity. "The impact hit us hard and caused a three-digit million loss," said Steffen Schüller, managing director, Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf.
Online strategy did not deliver the expected results
In order to take account of the change in purchasing behavior resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic, Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf had greatly expanded its online activities since 2021. In the course of this, considerable investments in personnel, material resources and marketing amounting to a three-digit million sum were made. Due to developments on the cost side and a reluctance to buy that can also be observed here throughout the industry, the company's online strategy has to be reconsidered and adapted to the given circumstances.
"We are sticking to our multibrand omnichannel strategy unchanged. Our focus is now clearly on our core business in bricks-and-mortar retail, and therefore on our stores. The online sector continues to be an important part of our business model, but here we will act more cautiously than in previous years. We will now work out the details in greater detail as part of the protective shield,” commented Thomas Freude, managing director, Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf.
Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf will implement the necessary restructuring in line with the crisis as part of the protective shield proceedings.
"The protective shield procedure is an effective instrument for restructuring companies. In the coming weeks, we will enter into talks with all the main parties involved in the process and, on this basis, press ahead with our plans to restructure Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf," says Dirk Andres, experienced lawyer and restructuring expert of the law firm Andres Partner, explaining the upcoming steps.
It is already clear that a significant reduction in administrative staff, including the management levels, will be necessary. Further details will be worked out in the coming weeks and discussed with those involved. As things stand at present, there will be no compulsory redundancies at the 67 stores under the protective shield.
Business operations will continue
The business and sales operations of Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf will continue without restriction in the protective shield proceedings.
According to current plans, there are no plans to close stores, but measures to make the necessary adjustments to the profitability and general conditions of individual locations are being examined. "Our stores will remain open. Even during the protective shield, we will continue to be available to our customers with an extensive assortment at all our locations, as tried and tested. The online store of Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf of course also still part of the business model and remains accessible," added the group’s managing director Thomas Freude.
The approximately 6,800 employees of Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf, including 800 employees at the head office and 6,000 employees in the 67 stores, whose wages and salaries will be taken over by the employment agency over the next three months, were informed today about the current situation and the further procedure.
For Peek & Cloppenburg Retail Buying GmbH & Co. KG, an application for protective shield proceedings was also filed. Other companies of the group in Germany and abroad, as well as the sister company Peek & Cloppenburg in Austria are not affected by the protective shield. They will continue their business activities without restriction. This also applies in particular to the Anson’s fashion stores in Germany.