Schuh to exit Germany; focus on UK, Irish and Channel Island business

Scotland-based footwear retailer Schuh has announced plans to close all three of its stores in Germany at the end of June to focus efforts on its UK, Irish and Channel Island business.

The company said changes in the market over the past few years as well as the impact of Brexit lead to the decision, and said the stores - in Oberhausen, Bochum and Essen - will be closed after trading on 22 June 2019. Schuh’s German website will continue to trade and all orders will be fulfilled by its UK warehouses. Over the last few days, Schuh’s divisional manager and retail director have visited the three German sites to update employees in person about the transition.

“Since opening, the stores have received exceptional feedback and despite the trading headwinds I am so proud of the achievement of having been able to open in another country in a foreign language with such high acclaim from customers and vendors alike,” Colin Temple, managing director at Schuh, said in a statement.

He added: “This is testament to the exceptional work that has been invested by our Divisional Manager, whose project this was, and testament to all our staff employed across Germany for whom we can only thank them for their valuable input. We are sorry they will not be part of the Schuh/Genesco family moving forward.”

Looking forward, the focus will now be solely on its UK, Irish and Channel Islands store estate and its ecommerce business, the company said in a statement. It read: “We have recalibrated Schuh significantly over the last 12 months, working hard to transform our business under very difficult trading conditions. We have experienced challenging sales, margin pressure as a result of a highly promotional retail environment and marketplace constraints minimising our ability to leverage fixed property expenses."

The statement continued: “Strategically we are focused to deliver initiatives to further enhance customer experience this year, including our new transformational 2020 store design, CRM personalisation and drive brand awareness via customer out of home and digital recruitment. We are working closely and collaboratively with our key brand partners to deliver greater activations in market as we continue to review our buying structure.”

Photo credit: Schuh, Facebook

 

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