Which retail company pays a livable wage

Information about the corona virus

Bridging aid III increasingly complex (05/05/2021)

In the case of bridging aid III, changes and new regulations are made almost every week. As a result, the strategies and measures to obtain the highest possible funding have to be checked again and again and, if necessary, changed. This is all the more difficult since many provisions, especially with regard to the depreciation of goods, are still unclearly formulated and suggest design leeway. Some examples:

  • The special regulations on copies of goods on hand have been extended to the spring / summer 2021 season, but now the autumn goods 2020 are left out. How exactly the distinction is made between autumn and winter goods was unclear at the time of going to press, as at least the requirements regarding the order and delivery times had not been changed.
  • The new and very attractive equity grant assumes a drop in sales of 50 percent over at least three months. In this regard, new upper limits must be taken into account for sales.

Conclusion: Every applicant should now find the optimal strategy for his company in constant communication with his tax advisor. To do this, the upper limits must always be kept in view so as not to waste money unnecessarily. For example, it can make sense for the equity grant not to exhaust all sales opportunities in order to stay below the sales threshold of 50 percent. In addition, it must be constantly checked whether the existing regulations change. The current provisions on bridging aid III can be found under the link https://www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-unternehmen.de.

Click & Collect: Does the customer have a right of withdrawal? (May 3rd, 2021)

Legal structure is crucial

In the vast majority of cities and municipalities, the doors of stationary textile and fashion retailers currently have to remain closed. According to the new Infection Protection Act, only “picking up of pre-ordered goods in shops”, the so-called Click & Collect, is generally allowed there.

In this context, the question arises as to whether this is a distance selling transaction in accordance with Section 312 c (1) of the German Civil Code (BGB). This is important as special legal provisions apply in such a case. For example, the retailer must then grant the consumer a two-week right of withdrawal and instruct him accordingly beforehand.

The decisive factor for the legal assessment is whether the purchase contract was concluded with legal effect before collection (Buy & Collect) or whether it is merely a non-binding reservation of the goods (Click & Reserve). In the first case, all the obligations of a normal online business in accordance with the Distance Selling Act apply to the retailer. This is particularly to be assumed in the following cases:

  • the purchase contract was concluded by pressing an order button,
  • the customer has already paid for the goods or
  • the dealer has confirmed the purchase in advance by email (exception: confirmation of receipt).

Nevertheless, there are still legal gray areas here. The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (Az. 6 U 181/19) recently dealt with a case in which a retailer offered the option of a “binding pre-order” of the goods on the Internet. The OLG assessed this as a distance selling transaction, as the terms and conditions with the deviating note were only made known to the customer after the reservation was sent. However, there is still no supreme court case law of the Federal Court of Justice for this and comparable cases.

Conclusion: In the vast majority of cases, the Click & Collect service of the textile and fashion retailer is likely to be an online reservation. Since the customer can usually not try on the goods when they are picked up, we recommend granting a generous exchange or return period. In order to prevent misuse, however, one should point out on the website and / or in or at the shop that the goods may only be tried on and further use is not permitted.

BTE, BDSE and BLE criticize federal emergency brake (04/22/2021)

The new Infection Protection Act with the nationwide “Corona emergency brake” has now finally brought the stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade the third disaster season in a row. Click & Collect, which is still permitted in the vast majority of cities and districts, is of no real help for the vast majority of fashion houses, shoe and leather goods stores, as the sales generated with it usually do not even cover the cost of opening the store. “The stationary fashion trade now needs to take immediate steps towards a far-reaching opening so that the companies can survive. Otherwise, many cities will finally become ghost towns, ”predicts BTE General Manager Rolf Pangels.

The shutdown for BTE, BDSE and BLE is completely incomprehensible in view of the knowledge that shopping in retail is largely risk-free. Several scientific studies by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Technical University (TU) Berlin show that shopping with a mask and limiting it to one person per 10 square meters of sales area carries hardly any risk of infection. Pangels: "The closure of the affected non-food retailers is therefore not making a meaningful contribution to combating the pandemic!"

In addition, the real risks of infection, especially in the fashion, shoe and leather goods trade, are even lower than calculated in the studies. According to research by BTE, BDSE and BLE, the researchers from RKI and TU assumed a purchase time of two hours for their models of the situation-related R-value in non-food retailers. According to a recent survey by the three professional associations, the length of visits by customers was usually only between 30 and 60 minutes, both in small specialist shops and in large fashion houses. In addition, the limit set in the study is only extremely rarely reached by one customer per 10 square meters. “According to our estimates, the R value for fashion shopping should currently be a maximum of 0.5,” Pangels calculates.

BTE, BDSE and BLE therefore call on politicians to finally take sensible measures to combat the pandemic. Pangels: "The stationary specialist trade must no longer serve as pawn sacrifices because politicians cannot or will not grasp the real drivers of the pandemic!"

New Infection Protection Act: Write to politicians! (04/16/2021)

As is well known, the federal government has passed a stricter infection protection law, which in the current version, in view of the nationwide increasing incidences, would mean that the textile trade would have to remain completely closed for an indefinite period of time. Formats such as the collection of pre-ordered goods ("Click & Collect") or shopping with a negative test result would no longer be possible. Both the Robert Koch Institute and other renowned scientific institutes confirm that the retail trade demonstrably does not pose an increased risk of infection. The additional restrictions on retail trade envisaged in the draft law are therefore completely disproportionate and also not expedient from the point of view of combating pandemics.

The BTE therefore calls on all companies in the textile industry to write to the members of the Bundestag who are responsible and to describe the dramatic consequences of a further or extended and tightened lockdown. The HDE has created a sample letter for this purpose, which can be accessed below.

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There is hardly any risk of infection when shopping in fashion! (April 15, 2021)

In view of increasing incidences and the political efforts for a stricter Infection Protection Act, the stationary textile and fashion trade is threatened with further tightening. Against this background, the BTE, together with the HDE and the entire retail organization, continues to fight vehemently for politicians to finally adopt effective measures and not repeatedly target retailers contrary to scientific knowledge.

The most important argument is the fact that shopping in retail does not represent an increased risk of infection, so closing the affected non-food retailers does not make a meaningful contribution to combating the pandemic. Since March 2020 (!) There has been no corona outbreak among the around three million employees in retail. In addition, the trade association for trade and goods logistics (BGHW) and the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) even found a below-average risk of infection for employees in a joint study at the end of 2020.

For customers, too, the risk of infection when shopping in retail is low. Several scientific studies by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Technical University (TU) Berlin show that shopping with a mask and limiting it to one person per 10 square meters of sales area carries hardly any risk of infection. According to a current study by traffic scientists at the TU: "Closing the retail trade, which is already shielded by masks, quick tests and a reduced number of people, does not make any measurable difference in our simulations". In addition, aerosol researchers have recently warned politicians against false pandemic measures. According to this, by far the greatest risk of infection is when staying in closed rooms for longer periods, i.e. in private areas, in open-plan offices, dormitories or in schools.

In addition, especially in the textile and fashion trade, the assumptions about shopping behavior do not correspond to reality. The BTE has researched that the researchers from RKI and TU assume a shopping time of two hours (one hour for groceries) in their models of the situation-related R-value in non-food retailers. According to a current BTE survey, customers are currently only visiting for between 30 and 60 minutes, both in small specialist shops and in large fashion houses. In addition, the limit set in the study is only extremely rarely reached by one customer per 10 square meters. When asked by the BTE, one of the authors of the study confirmed that the R-value for current shopping in the textile and fashion trade is significantly lower than the previously calculated and published value of 1.1. According to BTE estimates, the R value should currently be a maximum of 0.5 in reality. The study is published at https://depositonce.tu-berlin.de/handle/11303/12578.2.

The BTE encourages people to keep communicating the scientific findings on the risk of infection when shopping for fashion to their own customers and thus to prevent incorrect assessments. The BTE and above all the HDE have already done this several times in press releases, but this is often ignored in the media and also by politics. It is therefore to be feared that many customers continue to assess the risk of infection when shopping in fashion as too high!

Current resolutions of the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states

Current resolutions of the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states
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Previous opening options: Too much to die, too little to survive (03/19/2021)

The opportunities to open shops that have been permitted since March 8th do not eliminate the worries and needs of the stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade. In the vast majority of shops, according to BTE, BDSE and BLE, the sales proceeds are not even enough to cover the costs incurred for personnel, rent and electricity. "The current sales are too much for fashion houses, shoe stores and leather goods stores to die for, but too little to survive!" Reports BTE General Manager Rolf Pangels.

Against this background, demands from politics to take back the already limited opening options are triggering great fears and fears in the fashion trade. After all, the start of the spring season is extremely important for the three industries. Pangels: "March and April are very important sales phases as the start of the season for the fashion industry and the lost sales can hardly be made up in the seasonally oriented fashion industry."

The pressure of goods in the entire fashion industry is already increasing noticeably. “In addition to large quantities of unsold winter goods, the stores are now full of new spring fashion, which, due to the current restrictions, is difficult or impossible to get to men or women,” complains Pangels. "At the same time, the fashionable goods lose their desirability and value every week!"

The persistence of the sales restrictions has dramatic consequences for the entire fashion industry. It will destroy thousands of livelihoods and thus tens of thousands of jobs - not only in retail, but also among suppliers. Because retail needs the sales not only for its own wages and rents, but also to pay for its preliminary stages. “Every week lockdown costs the stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade around one billion euros in sales,” Pangels reckons. "This enormous shortfall is also dragging our suppliers into the abyss and, in the end, probably also hundreds of thousands of seamstresses in the production countries!"

In view of these - also global - effects, BTE, BDSE and BLE are calling on political decision-makers to finally fundamentally rethink their restrictive ban policy. Pangels: “The over-anxious and exclusive look at incidence values ​​must not lead to societal paralysis. Many scientists and even the RKI now recommend taking other parameters into account. In addition, it has been proven several times that the risk of infection in retail is low. Restrictions for stationary trade are unsuitable instruments in combating pandemics and lead, above all, to enormous economic damage, which ultimately every German citizen has to co-finance! "Pangels continues:" It is an illusion to believe that we can exterminate a constantly mutating virus with business closings. We call on the decision-makers to finally open up the retail sector across the board while adhering to strict hygiene and distance concepts, as proposed by the retailer initiative "Life belongs in the center"! "

Lockdown extension: next meltdown for stationary fashion retail (02/11/2021)

The renewed extension of the lockdown until March 7th is another hard blow for the stationary fashion trade. The disaster in the fashion industry will continue despite the arguments in favor of safe opening scenarios that are repeatedly put forward by associations and individual companies. According to calculations by the BTE, the stationary fashion trade will lose several hundred million euros in sales every week, even in February with weak sales. "As of the end of February, the losses from the winter lockdown in the textile, shoe and leather goods stores should have added up to around 15 billion euros," reckons Rolf Pangels, General Manager of the BTE Textile Trade Association. “It's pure horror,” adds Pangels.

Many dealers and companies have meanwhile also used up their reserves and reserves. The risk of increased bankruptcies increases day by day. And, above all, the employees in the industry are more and more afraid of the future of their jobs.

This situation will worsen dramatically again in March. The start of the spring season and especially the weeks before Easter are one of the most important sales periods for the fashion industry. "If the shops are still closed, it will finally break the neck of many fashion retailers and leave additional vacancies in the city centers!" Predicts Pangels.

The further closure of the shops is also incomprehensible because numerous and independently produced studies and reports show that stationary retail is not a hotspot for corona infections. Pangels: “The fashion trade is making a senseless special sacrifice to fight the pandemic, while some dubious online sales platforms are being delighted by politicians with additional sales and profits. Politicians are currently sacrificing the fashion industry on the altar of what appears to be the only possible strategy to combat Covid: the closure of shops ”.

The improvements in Bridging Aid III are certainly gratifying for the fashion trade, but they are by no means able to compensate for the horrific sales losses and losses that result from the store closings.

BTE, BDSE and BLE start campaign "Save my job" (20.01.2021)

The textile (BTE), shoes (BDSE) and leather goods (BLE) trade associations are launching the “Save my job” campaign together with the BTE competence partner Hutter + Unger. The aim is to convince the political decision-makers in the federal government to adopt effective aids for stationary textile, shoe and leather goods retailers as quickly as possible and thus save hundreds of thousands of jobs. After all, there are currently 33,000 companies with almost 80,000 shops and almost half a million employees in the three industries with their backs to the wall.

The focus of the campaign that starts today is the threat of job losses. Because tens of thousands of business owners and, above all, hundreds of thousands of employees are currently afraid of losing their entrepreneurial existence or their job - and that through no fault of their own! BTE, BDSE and BLE call on all affected business owners and employees to communicate their legitimate claims in the following ways:

  • in the form of personal letters from the owners and, above all, the employees to the federal government, especially to the federal finance, federal labor and economic ministries,
  • via an online petition in which all bosses and employees in the textile, shoe and leather goods trade should participate and
  • with the help of a poster motif that can be used in the shop window or for posts in the social media channels.

BTE, BDSE and BLE have created the campaign website www.rettet-meinen-Arbeitsplatz.de with poster templates, sample letters and the online petition. The website also contains a list of 44 personal, economic and competition law reasons why politicians now have to release effective assistance for the stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade as quickly as possible.

BTE, BDSE and BLE appeal to all entrepreneurs from the textile, shoe and leather goods trade to take part in the campaign and encourage their employees to participate and support them accordingly. The three trade associations will primarily use the petition to specifically call on those responsible in the federal government to save companies and jobs. Motto: Together we are many!

Current resolutions of the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states (20.01.2021)

Current resolutions of the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states
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Politics is slowly dying stationary fashion retail and inner cities (05.01.2021)

Huge losses and gigantic avalanche of unsold goods due to extended lockdown

The lockdown until at least the end of January will drive numerous fashion stores, shoe stores and department stores to ruin. The current closure has already led to dramatic losses. According to initial projections, stationary fashion retail lost more than half of its sales in December alone. "For 2020 as a whole, we are assuming a historic drop in sales of around 30 percent," reports Rolf Pangels, General Manager of the BTE Textile Trade Association. "Since the costs and especially the purchase of goods could hardly be adjusted due to the long lead times in the international supply chain, many businesses are now facing the ultimate end."

In addition to the lack of income with which the new spring goods would actually have to be paid for in the next few weeks, there is a huge problem of goods. According to estimates by the textile (BTE), shoes (BDSE) and leather goods (BLE) trade associations, the extended lockdown will cause a huge avalanche of half a billion unsold fashion items to pile up in stationary retail by the end of January. “The lost sales of the entire winter lockdown alone should add up to around 10 billion by the end of January,” predicts Pangels. "Due to the drop in value and price of the goods at the end of the season, these losses cannot be made up later."

As a result, the three associations are registering a massively growing wave of anger and outrage in the fashion trade because of insufficient political support. Many traders now feel that they are sacrificed pawns for the lack of success of politicians in fighting pandemics. "The companies have registered that there were no notable infections in their own workforce or among colleagues and therefore question the usefulness of the lockdown," reports Pangels.

BTE, BDSE and BLE therefore demand quick and adequate compensation and support from politicians, which must also take into account the particular problem of goods in the fashion industry. The aids announced so far are absolutely inadequate and do not offer the stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade any prospects. "The announced bazooka by the Federal Minister of Finance is currently reducing the stationary fashion trade and thus also many livable inner cities to rubble and ashes," complains Pangels. "If politics does not change course as quickly as possible, thousands of businesses and thus tens of thousands of jobs will be lost in stationary fashion retail alone!"

Pangels added: “Strategies to combat / contain the pandemic with a half-life of two or three weeks are fatal for the fashion trade. There is an urgent need to take a medium and long-term perspective and perhaps also to rethink the measures to be applied. We need a certain degree of reliability even in the volatile pandemic phase. "

"Christmas campaign" by textile, shoe and leather goods dealers: gifts for members of parliament (December 18, 2020)

Many textile, shoe and leather goods retailers are currently making an urgent appeal directly to their local state parliament and parliamentarian. With a fashion item (e.g. scarf) from the current winter collection as a gift to the MP, who cannot be sold due to the lockdown, they appeal to politicians to take responsibility for the entire fashion and city center trade. In an accompanying letter, they draw attention to the explosive situation of the company and an entire industry with facts and arguments.

This personal campaign is accompanied by the textile (BTE), shoe (BDSE) and leather goods (BLE) industry associations and supported by the regional trade associations. Hints:

  • The addresses of the local parliamentarians can be found at https://www.abektivenwatch.de.
  • For interested dealers, BTE, BDSE and BLE have formulated a sample letter for a letter to be enclosed, which can be individually adapted.

Current resolutions of the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states (13.12.2020)

Current resolutions of the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states
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Current resolutions of the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states (02.12.2020)

Current resolutions of the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states
TOP 10 Combating the Corona Pandemic Be
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Current resolutions Corona measures (25.11.2020)

Current resolutions Corona measures
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Overview of the applicable corona regulations in the federal states (October 21, 2020)

Overview of the applicable corona regulations in the federal states
Overview_Corona regulations-federal state
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New retail campaign "Tangible good" (09/21/2020)

Trying on a dress or a shoe, stroking a fabric, smelling leather - these are all central sensual experiences that cannot be experienced online. However, these direct advantages of the stationary specialist trade have fallen out of the focus of many customers due to the boom in online purchases, which was fueled again by Corona.

The trade associations, under the leadership of the HDE trade association Germany, started the “Don't just click, touch” campaign on September 15 with the Signal Iduna in order to strengthen local trade. It consists, among other things, of five short films that focus on seeing, feeling, smelling and hearing (which are rather unimportant for the outfit area). Clothes, fabrics and shoes are specifically shown. There are also competitions for customers and dealers. Further topics related to digitization or services will follow.

Important: Textile and fashion retailers can show the short films free of charge on their website or share them on their social channels. More information at www.anfassbargut.com or www.nichtnurickt.de.

Improvements to bridging aid: Active lobbying by HDE and associations successful (21.09.2020)

Since the bridging aid of the federal government does not arrive due to the high authorization hurdles in the fashion trade, the HDE has called for improvements, also with the support of the BTE. With success! The intensive talks between the HDE and the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and his ministry have resulted in the access conditions being lowered and the funding being extended and expanded. Depending on the amount of the operational fixed costs, companies can receive up to 200,000 euros in funding for the four months. The main details:

Flexibility of the entry threshold - In future, applicants will be entitled to apply if they have either experienced a drop in sales of at least 50 percent in two consecutive months in the period April to August 2020 compared to the respective months of the previous year or an average sales decrease of at least 30 percent in the months April to August 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year to have.

Deletion without replacement the SME cap amounts of 9,000 euros and 15,000 euros.

Increase in funding rates: In the future, 90 percent of the fixed costs will be reimbursed in the event of a drop in sales of more than 70 percent (previously 80 percent of the fixed costs), 60 percent of the fixed costs in the event of a drop in sales between 50 percent and 70 percent (previously 50 percent of the fixed costs) and 40 percent of the fixed costs in the event of a drop in sales of more than 30 percent (previously with a drop in sales of more than 40 percent).

Increase in the flat rate for personnel costs from 10 percent of the eligible costs to 20 percent.

Final settlement: In the future, additional payments should be possible here as well as reclaims.

Stationary fashion trade loses five billion euros in sales - BTE criticizes ver.di union (09.09.2020)

The corona pandemic brought a historically unique drop in sales to stationary fashion retailers in the spring / summer 2020 season. According to initial projections by the BTE Handelsverband Textil, sales fell by around a third from March to August compared to 2019. "Compared to the previous year, boutiques and fashion houses have lost around five billion euros in sales," calculates BTE General Manager Rolf Pangels.

At the same time, there has been a massive shift towards online shopping. Since April, online retail has grown in the double-digit percentage range every month. Pangels: "The gap between stationary fashion retail and online retail has widened further."

In order to prevent this development from solidifying in the coming weeks and months, inner-city (fashion) retailers in particular need better general and sales conditions. For Pangels, the attitude of the ver.di union in this context is absolutely incomprehensible, which recently prevented several open Sundays with complaints.

From a legal point of view, the judgments can hardly be challenged, but the union endangers numerous jobs, especially in the advice-oriented fashion trade, with its rigid and sales-preventing stance. Current data from online retail show that Sunday is by far the most popular day for shopping for fashion on the Internet. “So there are many customers who have the time and inclination to shop for fashion on Sunday,” concludes Pangels. The BTE therefore calls on ver.di to give up their current blockade on the upcoming Sunday shopping in order not to further increase the company's losses.

At the same time, the BTE general manager does not advocate a full release of Sundays as shopping days. He can imagine up to 12 Sundays open for business, which should also be permitted without reference to an occasion. Pangels: "This could at least reduce the Sunday privilege of online retailing".

Pangels is certain that the employees in the fashion retail sector will also participate. According to a recent survey by the FDP parliamentary group in the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament, 54 percent of retail employees are in favor of more frequent Sunday openings because of the corona pandemic. "Before filing a lawsuit against a Sunday open for sale, ver.di should better ask the majority opinion of the employees in the affected city-center retailers," demands Pangels.

Stationary fashion retail needs more support! (08/17/2020)

The stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade continues to lose millions of euros in sales every week. While other industries were often able to make up for lost sales after the end of the lockdown or even benefit from Corona, the fashion, shoe and leather goods trade remains significantly below the previous year's figures. According to the figures currently presented by the Federal Statistical Office, sales in “stationary retail clothing” fell by 30.5 percent in the first half of the year. Shoe stores and leather goods stores are similarly dramatically in the red, with sales falling by 30.1 percent and 25.3 percent respectively. "In July and August, the sales losses decreased, but the industry will certainly suffer massive losses in 2020 as a whole," reports Rolf Pangels, General Manager of the BTE textile trade association.

The trade associations BTE, BDSE and BLE therefore worry about the survival of thousands of fashion, shoe and leather goods stores. Numerous companies are currently on the brink because the costs - from rents to salaries to paying for the goods - could not or not sufficiently be adjusted in many cases. Corona has massively attacked or even consumed the equity and thus also the pensions of many medium-sized traders. "If there is no further help or relief, we expect thousands of business closings in the next few months," predicts Pangels.

The main problem is the unequal treatment of stationary specialist retailers and online sellers by the legislature, which has led to massive market shifts. While fashion, shoe and leather goods stores had to close their doors in March / April, online retailers were still allowed to sell shirts, bags and sneakers and were able to grow by 10.2 percent in the first half of the year, especially in the area of ​​textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods. Pangels: "The gap between stationary and online retail has widened further due to political decisions".

Against this background, BTE, BDSE and BLE are calling for further concrete help from the federal, state and local governments, especially for inner-city retail, which is primarily characterized by fashion, shoe and leather goods stores. Sensible measures in this context are the strengthening of the cities by curbing the increase in space outside the inner cities, good accessibility also by car, investments in the quality of stay in terms of appearance and safety, unbureaucratic possibilities for holding Sundays open for sale as well as efficient city marketing. "If politicians still want liveable inner cities with attractive, tax-paying and job-creating retail outlets in the future, they must significantly increase their aid and subsidies," demands Pangels.

Fashion industries remain corona losers (07/01/2020)

While many retail sectors were able to make up for the sales lost during the forced store closure after the lockdown ended, the textile, shoe and leather goods trade continue to be the big losers of the Corona crisis. According to the figures currently presented by the Federal Statistical Office, sales in the “stationary retail trade with predominantly textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods” fell sharply again in May, by 22.5 percent. "As of the end of May, sales in the fashion, shoe and leather goods stores are even 32.4 percent below the previous year", says Prof. Dr. Siegfried Jacobs from the General Management of the Textile and Shoes Trade Associations.

A comparison with other non-food sectors shows how dramatic the situation in the outfit is.After a race to catch up in sales at the end of May, furniture and electronics stores are only just below the previous year's level, while online retail as a whole increased by as much as 17.5 percent in the first five months. “The textile, shoe and leather goods stores, on the other hand, continued to lose sales in June according to initial projections and are therefore far from normal,” says Prof. Jacobs.

Against this background, it is understandable that some outfit stores are currently not passing the reduction in VAT on to customers. Because they need these savings in order to secure their own existence - similar to the gastronomy, which is also badly affected. Jacobs: "This is also a small contribution to maintaining attractive inner cities, which are still suffering considerably from the Corona crisis".

In any case, customers benefited from the usual seasonal discounts during the first reduction phase, which has already started in many places. "We are overcompensating for the VAT reduction through the current price reductions and customer card discounts," states Jacobs.

Breathing masks new in the BTE product group code (05/20/2020)

Breathing masks are not only mandatory when shopping and on public transport, they have even developed into a real fashion accessory. More and more fashion stores are therefore selling breathing masks, some of which are even produced by their regular suppliers (see e.g. www.germanfashion.net).

In view of this development, the BTE working group “product group code” has decided to include the item “breathing mask” in the BTE product group code with immediate effect. In detail, these are the three new numbers 114116 (men), 124116 (women) and 130936 (kids).

Explanation: The BTE product group code has a modular structure and has six digits to which 21 precisely defined attributes (e.g. color, material, shape, season or theme) can be assigned. It is available (without attributes) as an Excel file to all interested parties free of charge on the Internet at www.bte.de (under the heading Specialist topics).

Note: A comfort version of the BTE product group code can be ordered for a fee in the form of a download (zip file). The scope of delivery then includes both the attribute system and a detailed explanation of the product group code as well as a version in English. In addition, the recipients are informed of future changes via an e-mail service. The price for this service package is a one-off price of EUR 29 plus VAT. Members of the retail trade association receive a discount of 20 percent if they state their EHV membership number. Further information and orders from ITE-Verlag, email: [email protected] or in the BTE webshop.

Need-based seasonal contact must come! (05/20/2020)

Use the corona crisis for necessary measures

The recommended measures to cope with the corona crisis - extension of the current FS season, more extensive reductions only from the end of July and later delivery of autumn goods - are not only without alternative this year. Rather, the fashion industry must use this opportunity to make the seasonal contact more needs and demand-oriented in the future. This is the only chance for medium-sized fashion retailers and their suppliers to compete with the highly efficient vertical fashion providers in the future!

The significantly more demand-oriented product range is absolutely necessary from a business point of view for the vast majority of fashion stores and has already proven itself in practice. Because the vast majority of customers are now buying closer to their needs, which is likely to be exacerbated by the coronavirus consequences. It is therefore essential to continue to pursue the path that has been taken. The corona-related seasonal shift must not be an exception, but must become the new normal in the next few years!

This must go hand in hand with a change in the order. At least for the medium-sized genre, which is strong on the market, it is then sufficient to process the order budgets for FS 2021 from the beginning of August and to set them in the course of the first two weeks of August. Only at this point in time is it possible to make a realistic assessment of the course of the FS 2020 season as well as an outlook for the rest of the year, with which ultimately the year 2021 can only be properly planned.

As a result, a collection review and order placement for FS 2021 cannot be carried out before the middle of August. For the HW 2021 order, a revision of the HW budget does not make sense until the beginning of February. The HW 2021 viewing and order period must therefore not begin in the consumer market before February 15.

In addition, the entire industry must definitely increase its speed. Especially when production takes place in Europe or neighboring countries, it must be possible to react to new trends at short notice. A period of six months between placing the order and delivery is absolutely not competitive compared to fast vertical providers!

Conclusion: The corona crisis must necessarily lead to the often criticized and for most customers incomprehensible seasonal contact of the fashion industry being adapted to the actual demand. After the corona hit, trade and industry can no longer afford to fight price wars before the demand peak and thus gamble away existentially necessary return points. Against this background, trade fairs and order centers are requested to adapt to the new frequency and, if necessary, to reschedule their events!

Coronavirus: BTE, BDSE and BLE welcome easing decisions (May 7, 2020)

The trade associations textile (BTE), shoes (BDSE) and leather goods (BLE) welcome the relaxation recommendations of the federal governments, which have already led to corresponding approvals for larger retail areas of over 800 square meters in all federal states. "This means that the factually incomprehensible discrimination against large textile, shoe and department stores is finally over," says BTE Managing Director Rolf Pangels happily.

However, Pangels is not entirely satisfied with the implementation. "We would have liked to have approved nationwide by this weekend," criticized the BTE boss. After all, huge amounts of unsold trousers, jackets and shoes from the spring season pile up in the stores. And the new summer goods are also currently being delivered. "That is why every day counts at the moment so that the immense goods problem in the fashion industry does not become even more dramatic."

However, the BTE managing director does not anticipate a rush of customers: "In the federal states in which larger fashion houses have already been allowed to open completely, we have registered a significantly below-average customer frequency." This made it easy to comply with distance and hygiene rules.

BTE, BDSE and BLE assume that customer footfall and sales will not reach the previous year's values ​​in the next few weeks either. After all, many customers still lack the reason to buy a new outfit. "As long as larger celebrations and parties are restricted or even banned and millions of people work in the home office or are even on short-time work, we expect significant losses," reports Pangels. "We hope that with the opening of gastronomy, a bit of normality and a 'shopping experience' will return to the cities."

Overview of the current regulations on mouth and nose protection (April 24, 2020)

A current overview of the current regulations on mouth and nose protection (“mask requirement”) in the federal states can be found on the HDE website. The overview is continuously updated.

Retail proposals for a return to regular business operations from May 4, 2020 (April 24, 2020)

On April 15, 2020, the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states adopted a joint resolution to relax the restrictions on public life in order to contain the COVID19 epidemic. According to this, all shops with up to 800 square meters of sales area and regardless of the sales area can reopen, subject to hygiene requirements, control of access and avoidance of queues. The state governments have implemented and specified this joint resolution through corresponding ordinances at the state level.

Despite the announcement of a coordinated approach between the federal states, a patchwork of different regulations has emerged as a result. These concern, among other things, the question of whether the 800 sqm limitation can also be met by cordoning off larger sales areas. Bavaria, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt in particular currently contradict such a blocking option.

On April 30, 2020, the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states will discuss further steps to ease the current restrictions on public life. With the following suggestions, the retail trade wants to make a constructive contribution to the best possible

Create the weeks ahead.

HDE Exit Strategy II.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 26.8 KB

BTE campaign #mitAbstand and #maskhave: New motifs for mask compulsory (April 24, 2020)

The BTE campaign #with distance receives a lot of popularity from the trade. In the first week hundreds of textile, shoe and leather goods stores downloaded the motifs and used them as templates for posters, floor stickers or posts on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Use is free of charge.

Due to the later introduced mask requirement, the campaign was supplemented on April 24 with corresponding new motifs. One variant complements the previous distance motif, a second runs under the slogan #maskhave.

Note: All templates are free of charge and can also be used for ads or posts on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. They are available for download here. Before using it, every retailer must absolutely check whether the templates comply with the requirements of their own federal state!

Textile and fashion stores should use the opening option! (04/17/2020)

The BTE appeals to all textile and fashion stores to take advantage of the opportunities to open stores from next week! It is to be expected that the frequencies will remain well below the normal level and that the opening will hardly be worthwhile from an economic point of view. Nonetheless, brick-and-mortar retail should clearly signal to customers and political decision-makers that it would like to and can contribute to supplying the population without fear of being infected with the coronavirus.

Against this background, the BTE once again calls on the textile and fashion stores to adhere to the prescribed hygiene measures and to communicate these to customers in an understandable manner!

BTE demands: Allow nationwide partial openings on 800 square meters! (04/17/2020)

From April 20, textile, shoe and leather goods stores up to a sales area of ​​800 square meters in almost all federal states will be allowed to reopen under certain hygiene conditions. However, the question of whether larger shops and department stores are allowed to reduce their sales area to 800 square meters and then sell their products on at least a partial area is treated inconsistently.

In this context, the BTE demands that all larger businesses must be allowed to serve their customers on at least 800 square meters. “For reasons of competition, larger shops and department stores must not be discriminated against”, demands BTE General Manager Rolf Pangels.

In the opinion of the BTE, there are no really understandable reasons for this restriction. The companies could isolate other sales areas through appropriate barriers or measures and thus keep customers away. With a partial opening of a large fashion or department store with several thousand square meters of total sales area on only 800 square meters, the BTE is convinced that larger crowds will certainly not flock into the city centers. Pangels: “In politics, the horses apparently lose their way if overcrowded city centers are expected as a result of the easing. That is completely absurd. "

Pangels also points out that the 800 square meter limit is a factor in building planning law. “Applying or applying this limit now without any real reflection on hygiene aspects is devoid of any comprehensible basis,” said the BTE managing director.

Overview of the most important provisions of the individual federal states (April 17th, 2020)

After the Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states adopted a joint resolution on April 15 to relax the restrictions on public life in order to contain the COVID19 epidemic, the state governments are now issuing corresponding ordinances in which the resolutions are implemented and specified.

On the basis of the information currently available, the HDE has prepared a preliminary overview of the most important provisions in the individual federal states. The deliberations in the federal states are ongoing and some of the regulations will not be adopted until the next few days. The HDE will therefore update the overview on the intranet (access required) on an ongoing basis and supplement it if necessary.

BTE campaign #mitAbstand: free templates for the fashion trade (April 16, 2020)

From April 20, shops with a sales area of ​​up to 800 sqm may reopen under certain hygiene conditions. The most important requirement in this context is compliance with minimum distances.

In order to support the textile, shoe and leather goods trade with the corresponding customer communication in the store, the BTE designed the campaign #mitAbstand. For this purpose, several motifs and slogans related to the industry were developed, which are made available to all companies as free print templates (posters, floor stickers and adhesive rolls). The motifs admonish the customers in a playful approach to keep the recommended 1.5 meters distance.

The BTE spacers can be used instead of or in addition to the usual spacers (e.g. "Please note 1.5 m distance"). The motifs can also be used for advertisements or posts on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Note: All templates are available for download here. Before using it, every retailer must absolutely check whether the templates comply with the requirements of their own federal state!

BTE criticizes unequal treatment when shops open (04/16/2020)

The BTE trade association textile criticizes the decision of the federal and state governments, according to which from April 20 only shops up to a size of 800 square meters are allowed to reopen. Because this arbitrarily drawn limit leads to a distortion of competition that massively disadvantages large fashion and shoe stores as well as department stores. "Actually, companies that are not allowed to open should receive compensation payments," said BTE spokesman Axel Augustin.

The area limitation is above all incomprehensible because large houses in particular can easily keep the prescribed minimum distance of 1.5 meters. “With their wide aisles and multiple entrances and exits, customers are much easier to steer than in small shops,” reports Augustin. "In addition, no fashion retailer is expecting a rush of customers in the next few weeks, as important buying occasions such as celebrations and vacations will be eliminated."

The BTE therefore demands that the green light be given for the opening of all shops by the beginning of May at the latest. "There must be no further intermediate step with a new sales area delimitation," the BTE spokesman demands. "Otherwise a number of large houses will not survive the shutdown!"

Retail associations make proposals for reopening stores (04/14/2020)

For the stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade in particular, it is important that the shops are now allowed to reopen as quickly as possible. In a ten-point plan, the retail associations, including BTE, BDSE and BLE, make it clear where the sticking points of an exit strategy lie. They are calling on politicians to approve the opening of all retail stores as soon as possible, as soon as this is justifiable from a health policy point of view. Concrete suggestions are made as to how a step-by-step return to orderly business operations is possible, taking into account the increased demands on the health protection of employees and customers.

Together with its state and federal professional associations, the HDE emphasizes in this paper the great importance of uniform national regulations, which should not discriminate against retailers because of their branch or the size of their sales areas.In order to revive the consumer sentiment, which has recently fallen to an all-time low, the trade associations are demanding that politicians issue consumer checks for citizens and the complete abolition of the solidarity surcharge. Furthermore, it is about additional financial aid for the retail trade, about at least a temporary flexibilization of the shop opening times - especially on Sundays - and measures to strengthen the inner cities. For more information, see pdf downloads.

Covid-19 exit 10-point plan
Adobe Acrobat Document 310.3 KB
Covid-19 exit claims
Adobe Acrobat Document177.0 KB
Covid-19 exit health protection
Adobe Acrobat Document 292.0 KB

BTE, BDSE and BLE for postponing the seasons (April 9th, 2020)

The current shutdown in the stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade is likely to be relaxed at the end of April at the earliest, but possibly not until May. This means that the entire fashion industry lacks a sales period of probably six to eight weeks, at least as far as the stationary business is concerned.

In the textile and fashion industry, different proposals have been circulating for about two weeks to postpone the spring / summer season by about six weeks. For example, the deliveries of autumn goods would have to take place later, so that there is more time for the sale of summer goods in retail. In the opinion of the textile (BTE), shoe (BDSE) and leather goods (BLE) trade associations, however, the limited reintroduction of a legally prescribed (late) sales, which is often required in this context, is politically unenforceable. Appeals to the industry to hold back with price campaigns are likely to overstrain the solidarity among retail companies and direct-selling brand suppliers, especially since many companies want or need to raise liquidity after the shutdown has ended.

However, every textile, shoe and leather goods retailer should carefully weigh the priorities between liquidity and profitability. When considering the exit strategy, many market participants are currently coming to the conclusion that a differentiated approach is expedient. Detailed decisions must also be made dependent on when the shops are allowed to reopen. BTE, BDSE and BLE therefore advocate the following:

  • Extend and extend the spring / summer (S / S) sales season. This also includes postponing goods receipt dates for autumn / winter (A / W) in coordination with the suppliers.
  • This means that the marketing measures that have already been planned for H / W have to be adjusted in time.
  • Use the red pencil for S / S in a very targeted and differentiated manner. Anyone who sells vouchers today for shopping after reopening has ensured later customer frequency and probably less pressure to then have to grant larger discounts.
  • Particularly in the case of contracts with return options, check carefully which goods are currently still for sale and which are not. Only return obsolete goods in good time, but quickly put up-to-date goods on the market. In any case, talk to the suppliers about “washing the goods”.
  • Store less fashionable S / S articles if necessary and put them back on sale at a later date (2021). This must certainly be done more carefully in women's fashion than in men's clothing.

The conclusionl for a sensible seasonal procedure also rests with the suppliers and their support of their trading partners. However, the business models and delivery rhythms of the brand providers are very different and therefore require a differentiated view. According to a current analysis and thesis paper from the BTE competence partner hachmeister + partner, the biggest problem in this context is currently the seasonally outdated and therefore hardly salable goods from the early delivery dates. These goods should be exchanged for current goods or adequately marketed.

With the time of the reopening, the textile, shoe and leather goods trade needs the very latest goods that are competitive with the offers of online and vertical chain stores. Every retailer needs individual guidelines for each supplier / business model (e.g. vertical monthly suppliers, ready-to-wear suppliers, classic pre-order suppliers, suppliers with competent NOS / seasonal NOS offers), which, however, are developed and implemented by the fashion houses, shoe stores and leather goods dealers themselves have to. During these discussions with suppliers, the key question must be clarified, such as how the damage caused by the authorities can be kept within limits in partnership.

Important: Brand manufacturers will only survive if the many small and medium-sized retailers survive. Conversely, the owner-managed textile, shoe and leather goods trade also needs a diverse and high-performance range of brands in order to continue to distinguish itself and assert itself in the competition - especially against vertical chains. The BTE competence partner hachmeister + partner is still working intensively in coordination with BTE, BDSE and BLE as well as many fashion houses and suppliers to develop guard rails and impulses for a partnership solution on how to deal with the existence-threatening challenges for trade and industry.

Tip: The fashion trade should also apply for sufficient KfW loans so that the liquidity pressure and thus the need for unnecessary price campaigns is cushioned in the remaining summer season. The loans are now - a success also the intensive political efforts of the retail trade associations - under certain conditions 100 percent secured by the state! This eliminates the usual critical risk assessment by the house banks, which so far had proven to be the bottleneck for quick commitments of emergency loans in the Corona crisis.

Slump in sales in the textile trade: BTE contradicts council of experts (02.04.2020)

In its most likely base scenario, the Federal Government's Advisory Council currently assumes that overall demand for clothing will fall by 30 percent in the period from mid-March to mid-May 2020 due to the store closures. This is justified with the high online share and the still open grocery stores that also sell clothing items.

According to all known market data in the industry, this scenario is untenable! According to calculations by the BTE, the market share of all online clothing retailers is a maximum of 30 percent. This figure also includes online sales from mainly stationary fashion stores. Another 10 percent is accounted for by retail stores that are allowed to remain open and carry clothing as a marginal range, such as grocery stores and hypermarkets. In contrast, sales of all closed fashion stores and department stores (excluding their online sales) have dropped to zero. "60 percent of the market are currently not generating any sales", BTE spokesman Axel Augustin reckons.

The assumption that customer demand is currently migrating more to the online shops is also incomprehensible. According to research by the BTE, online sales of clothing are currently also falling. For example, Zalando is currently expecting a decline in sales due to the corona crisis. "We are therefore currently assuming that the overall demand for clothing will fall by 60 to 70 percent during the shutdown!" Estimates Augustin.

These dramatic drops are understandable for a number of reasons. "Anyone who now works in the home office or is even on short-time work hardly thinks about fashion purchases - not even on the Internet," the BTE spokesman knows. Currently and in the future, the usual buying occasions, such as a family reunion at Easter, the Easter holiday or dancing in May, are also missing. This also affects the shoe and leather goods trade. "It is also not to be expected that the purchases that have now not been made will be made up to a greater extent after the end of the shutdown, since very many consumers will then have less money available".

The current closings are also threatening the very existence of stationary fashion retail because they fall into a phase in which there are normally no major discount campaigns. But even that seems to be changing at the moment due to the growing liquidity pressure and increasingly full warehouses, as the price campaigns in the last few days in online trading show. "The current aid from politics for the entire stationary fashion trade must therefore urgently be expanded!" Demands BTE spokesman Augustin.

Corona crisis: BTE, BDSE and BLE are calling for help from politics! (04/01/2020)

Joint fire letter "Textile, shoe and leather goods trade before the collapse" to the Chancellor, Finance and Economics Minister

On March 31, the presidents of BTE, BDSE and BLE sent identical letters to Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chancellor Helge Braun, Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier and Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz. In it, Steffen Jost (BTE), Nina Kiesow (BLE) and Brigitte Wischnewski (BDSE) explained the particular problems of the three industries due to the shutdown on three pages and, in close coordination with the BTE competence partner “hachmeister + partner”, suggested solutions for the rescue of the stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade.

In this letter, the macroeconomic importance of the three sectors was emphasized. The stationary textile, shoe and leather goods trade comprises around 33,000 companies with almost 80,000 sales outlets. It generates sales of almost 50 billion euros and employs around 440,000 people. The core of the association's concern was, among other things, to clarify the particular problems of the three industries:

  • The seasonal offers of goods, which make catching up sales almost impossible and lead to a rapid devaluation of the inventory.
  • The increasing pressure of goods and liquidity due to ongoing deliveries.