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Following the announcement of the Karstadt closure: Fashion retailer Sinn to stay in Bonn

Following the announcement of the Karstadt closure : Fashion retailer Sinn to stay in Bonn

The fashion retail chain Sinn is committed to staying in Bonn; it will not pull out despite restructuring. According to management, Sinn is making good progress in its bankruptcy protection proceedings.

The Sinn fashion chain is making solid strides in its insolvency protection proceedings. "We are on schedule," assured Friedrich-Wilhelm Göbel, spokesman for the Sinn management board, to the General-Anzeiger newspaper. He believes that the insolvency plan could be presented to the creditors in the course of August.

Göbel says the location of Bonn is nearly certain to stay: "The probability that we will withdraw from Bonn is close to zero.” The fashion retailer has 23 branches, with Bonn being the largest and one of the three most important locations for Sinn. The retailer is interested in staying at its current location in Bonn and giving the property an updated design. That is why they are also in talks with the property owners.

Sinn, headquartered in Hagen, had filed an application for insolvency protection proceedings in April. A loss of 33 million euros in revenues resulted due to the closures during the corona crisis. Three months are allotted for drawing up an insolvency plan that will ease the restructuring. Goebel said in April that the fashion retailer had not been able to get a loan to compensate for the loss in sales. The company had previously been profitable.

The fashion group has 1,400 employees and generated a turnover of 208 million euros in 2019. For this year, 220 million euros had been anticipated. The aim of the bankruptcy protection process is to keep all of their stores operating and to not cut jobs. Sinn had expanded just recently: In April, the fashion chain opened a store in Unna and at the end of May one in Essen. "Both branches were planned before the insolvency protection proceedings," said the company spokesperson.

The insolvency plan has made big strides, but is still in progress. It is becoming apparent that employees, suppliers and the landlord will all have to play their part. Because the employees don’t have high wages, he had tried to limit their share of the restructuring package to ten percent, according to Göbel. Part of the wages would also be paid out in goods vouchers. In spite of everything, the company will go ahead with a planned wage increase of 1.8 percent for employees in August.

He provided all those involved in the restructuring with a 20-page documentation explaining the company's situation and plans: "We have a future strategy that is viable," said Göbel. The company is here for people who don't go shopping in Paris and London, but want quality products and customer service. Only to save money is not a concept, he said, taking a dig at the department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, which is currently making headlines by closing stores."The Karstadt closure will not mean that fewer customers will come to Bonn city center", said Göbel. He said it is different in smaller cities where the department store is the anchor.

Sinn's sales revenues are still well below those of pre-corona times. Only in the past two or three weeks has it improved. The stores in city centers are doing better than those in shopping malls. Presumably, customers are more afraid to shop in indoor malls. This pattern is likely to continue for some time. In the restructuring plan, it is anticipated that the 2019 sales level will be reached again in 2023.

Orig. text: Claudi Mahnke

Translation: ck