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Germany: postponing season timings for footwear and leather goods

May 7, 2020 Germany
Germany: postponing season timings for footwear and leather goods
The HDS/L and buying groups SABU and ANWR issued a joint declaration recommending postponing the season timings in footwear and leather goods sector to help minimise the impact of Covid-19 closures
In the joint declaration the 3 entities recalled that the closure of stores took place as the season was starting. After a period of 5 weeks closure, most stores in Germany could reopen under strict conditions starting either on the 20th or the 27th of April. However, the situation is challenging for businesses: “It will be difficult, if not impossible, to regain the lost sales of the past weeks and sell the current goods in the remaining rest of the season”, fears HDS/L Chairman Carl-August Seibel.

With an aim to limit the financial effects of the pandemic on the footwear and leather goods sector as much as possible, HDS/L – in coordination with the buying groups SABU and ANWR – recommends a modified season timing in Germany. Stephan Krug, Managing Director of SABU, reinforces this approach: “So we can sell more seasonal goods, we are requesting an extension of the 2020 spring/summer season. After this crisis threatening our existence, there cannot be a ‘carry on as usual!’” With this new correction of the season timing and supply of the goods, market and consumer needs correspond to each other again, according to Stephan Krug. This is not only a reaction to the present crisis, but it also concerns the general market situation as he resumes: “The sector now has it in its hands to lead the way to the future through uniform, solidary cooperation based on partnership!”

ANWR Board Member Fritz Terbuyken also supports the new season timing: “I see an opportunity for the future in this, to come closer to the selling period once again. Because it is precisely the adjustment to the seasonal cycles which has been discussed for many years. It will probably be easier for us to bring the collections once closer to the real needs than before corona.”

According to the declaration the German Federal Cartel Office has no objections against the measures coordinated by HDS/L and the buying groups. Specifically, the selling period for footwear and leather goods of the 2020 spring/summer season is extended by four weeks and the delivery of footwear and leather goods for the 2020/21 fall/winter season will also take place four weeks later. Thus, the selling period of the fall/winter collections is likewise pushed back by a month. The later invoicing ensures the significant improvement of the liquidity situation in retail for the 2020/21 fall/winter season. The postponement of possibly already confirmed delivery deadlines must be individually discussed between supplier and retailer. This new seasonal timing pushed back by a month will also be adopted like this for the subsequent season.

HDS/L, ANWR and SABU took the opportunity to also call upon all participants of the sector to take up these recommendations and put them into practice: “We are pleased that the regular selling season can now be expanded to the months of June and July. This allows retailers to still sell as many goods as possible – but that is not all: By doing this, we can finally take the long-debated step to adjust the selling time to weather conditions and the season and to make it a reality,” Carl-August Seibel concludes.

Image credits: Alexander Kovacs on Unsplash

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