Despite reopening Fashion company Sinn slips into insolvency

Bonn · After the officially ordered closure of the shops and loss of sales, the fashion company Sinn does not receive any loans and slides into insolvency. Meanwhile, business at the Bonn branch is slow to pick up after opening.

 For Sinn, a company based in Hagen, the Bonn branch is the flagship with the highest turnover. Photo: Barbara Frommann/barbarbara frommann

For Sinn, a company based in Hagen, the Bonn branch is the flagship with the highest turnover. Photo: Barbara Frommann/barbarbara frommann

Foto: Barbara Frommann/barbara frommann

The fashion chain Sinn reopened its Bonn store on Wednesday, limited to the permitted 800 square meters of sales space. "We have 19 of 23 stores open nationwide," company spokesman Friedrich-Wilhelm Göbel confirmed to the General-Anzeiger. In some federal states, the legal requirements did not yet allow for an opening. The start was restrained: In the period between 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. sales in Bonn were 85 percent below average. "Nobody is in the mood to buy", said Goebel.

The opening of the stores does not change the fact that Sinn GmbH has applied for a protection shield. The protective umbrella procedure is a special procedure under German insolvency law that combines provisional self-administration with the goal of quickly drawing up an insolvency plan to facilitate restructuring. The company, which is headquartered in Hagen, employs 1400 people and achieved a turnover of 208 million euros in 2019. For this year, 220 million euros were planned.

Göbel attributes the economic problems to the officially ordered closure during the Corona period. As a result, the company, which had previously been profitable, lost sales of 33 million euros. However, the company did not receive necessary loans in the double-digit million range. Sinn GmbH had talked to four banks about funds from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) Special Programme 2020, but had received a refusal from all of them.

Bonn is the largest and strongest branch

None of the banks had been in a position to accommodate a loan application to the KfW, as the banks' joint liability of 20 percent of the requested loan amount was not justifiable in the very uncertain overall economic environment from the banks' point of view. The currently offered state aid was not available for Sinn GmbH.

The manager criticises the politicians for their decision to close the majority of the stores over several weeks. He said that unstructured measures had been adopted. The company has written an open letter to North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister President Armin Laschet, which also appears as an advertisement in several daily newspapers. The company appeals to Laschet, in talks with the other prime ministers and the Chancellor on Thursday, to work towards ensuring that all retailers and also catering businesses can reopen completely by May 4 at the latest. The decrease of new corona-infected persons and the very high discipline of the population in observing the hygiene regulations speak for this. "The damage to the German economy that has been caused so far is already serious and will burden our country for several years," the company said.

Bonn is the largest and top-selling branch of the textile trade chain: "We love Bonn", said Göbel. Due to the application for insolvency in self-administration, Sinn GmbH now has three months to negotiate with landlords, suppliers and the state about measures to stabilize the company again. This is complicated in some places, he said, because in some cities the landlords are international and it takes a long time to reach a decision. "In principle, we want to continue to operate all the houses and thus not cut jobs," said Göbel. The Sinn houses are between 2000 and 9000 square meters in size.

The company has experienced ups and downs. In 2001, KarstadtQuelle AG acquired a majority shareholding in SinnLeffers AG and sold it to Deutsche Industrie-Holding (DIH) in 2005. In 2008, after years of declining sales, the group filed for insolvency. About half of the 47 branches at that time were closed. In 2013 the Gerhard Wöhrl family bought the shares from DIH. In 2018, one year after the successful conclusion of the second insolvency proceedings, the fashion house wanted to make it clear that it had regained its footing economically and since then has called itself only Sinn.

(Original text: Claudia Mahnke. Translation: Mareike Graepel)

Neueste Artikel
Zum Thema
Aus dem Ressort