News from the German retail market week 32.

News from the German retail market week 32.

  • German retail market: Turn over week 32 +8% vs. LY. July’s turn over -7 % vs. LY.
  • Openings & Business
    – Zalando
    starts selling products from the Spanish brand Mango on their site. Around beginning of September are you able to buy Mango collection from Zalando’s E-shop.
    Woolrich opening in Hamburg: this is their third store in Germany (Munich & Sylt). The address is Hohe Bleichen 17 and is 300 sq. It also offers the whole collection from HAKA (Men), DOB (Women) and Children’s wear.
  • Trend & Top sellers: For women, the grey denim jeans are expecting to be a top seller for the AW14 season. For men, the thinner outwear jacket and blazer in different shapes and styles will hopefully bring in the cash.
  • Retail economics
    – The Tom Tailor Group increases their sales & earnings.
    This casual brand from Hamburg is growing their business. The groups first half year showed a growth of 4,5% to €425 million. The Tom Tailor brands stand for a growth of 11% to €271% million, meanwhile the brand Bonita had a decrease of – 5,4% to around €154 million.

Turn over week 32 = + 8% vs. LY.

My thoughts on that: Good result for the German retail market. Some parts of Germany are still on Holiday and this usually means a lot of travelling to Spain for the German tourist.


Openings & Business

My thoughts on that: As I wrote last week, Mango seems to be experiencing a positive trend and change with its concept. Selling their collection on Zalando will probably be a move and a change in sales strategy to also offer wholesale, or maybe this change was already done but nevertheless, they will get a broader reach and customer target in the market.

Woolrich – the third store in Germany. I definitely think there is more potential to open up more stores in the market. I believe they have a solid and broad customer target, customers who are brand conscious and likes to spend money on their outerwear jackets.

Trends and Bestseller

Top Sellers for women: I can confirm the grey denim. My wife who is German just bought a pair.

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Retail Economics

My thoughts on that: Tom Tailor from Hamburg is one of the first brands that I got acquainted with here in Germany. A casual middle price brand that attracts the German men who are not that brand conscious and don’t want to spend so much money on their purchases. They are practical but also with details and this is perfect for the suburban middle age men, both to wear on their spare time with their kids but also when they have a beer with the lads. I also think they have a broad and solid customer group on the market.



News from the German retail market week 31

News from the German retail market week 31.

  • German retail market – Turn over week 31 +1% vs LY. 
  • Openings & Business
    – Mango
    opening in Frankfurt, this is their biggest store in Europe.
    – Birkenstock  the German shoe manufacturer is stepping into the international licensing business through a partnership with brand consultancy trademark one AG.
  • Retail economics
    – The Metro group
    who owns METRO Cash & Carry, Media Markt & Saturn, Real hypermarkets and Galleria Kaufhof showed a really weak third quarter.
    – Adidas will bring down their forecast for the present fiscal year. They now believe they will earn around€200 million less then the first forecast.

Turn over week 31 = + 1% vs. LY.

My thoughts on that: Finally, after seven weeks in a row with a minus vs. LY , last week showed a plus for many of the retailers in Germany. 


Retail Economics

Metro Group the company showed a positive result after the first 9 month but the third quarter brought their result down from €119 million to around €52 million.

Adidas will bring down their forecast for the present fiscal year. They now believe they will earn €200 million less then the first forecast.

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My thoughts on that: The article doesn’t tell in detail the reason for Metro group or which business unit had the worst performance. I guess that kaufhof is not at the top of their game. As I have been writing before I believe that a lot of the larger department store chains have problems to keep up with the international expansion and the online and Omni-channel solutions that are growing in the market. Not sure how large their e-commerce business is compare to their physical sales. Although, running those huge department stores can’t be cheap.

Adidas, I am a bit surprised that Adidas are lowering their expectations and forecast. I believe that the World Cup wasn’t as successful as expected or that their “normal” business with clothing and shoes hasn’t performed as expected. Although not sure which market is performing.

Openings & Business

The Spanish retailer MANGO opened up the biggest store in Europe. The location is direct on Zeil in Frankfurt city. The former occupant was the Brand Pohland, the location is around 3000 sq. sales area and in 5 different floors. The brand will show all their collection from DOB, HAKA, KOB, Accessories, Sport, underwear and large sizes for women.

Birkenstock’s strategy is to conquer new strategic business segments, market and target groups. The brand is synonymous with health and convenient and comfort shoes and this is the area where they are going to expand and focus their product offers. Their product lines expansion lies in: living and sleeping, work environment, feet plus running and lifestyle.

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My thoughts on that: A great A- location in Frankfurt. I think this will fit their target customer pretty well. The rent is of course in the top league, but I think the footfall and the buying potential are really good. I have to say that the concept Mango looks better and better, their stores looks more structured and attractive and it will be interesting to follow their performance.

Birkenstock, the brand was chosen the “Brand of year” in the US 2013 and is already commercialized in more then 80 countries around the Globe. With that kind of brand awareness and their “ new” product mix I believe they have some really good condition to grow even more on an international level.

News from the German retail market week 30

News from the German retail market week 30.

  • German retail market – Turn over week 30 -5%vs LY. 
  • CPD – Collection Première Düsseldorf – International Fashion Fair in Düsseldorf takes place from 26th to 28th of July.
  • The German retail brand Esprit partners up with PETA.

Turn over week 30 = -5% vs. LY.

My thoughts on that: The second week in row shows the German retail minus vs. LY. It feels like it is less visitors or at least fewer customer with shopping bags on the streets. I think one reason is that the e-commerce is still growing and taking more and more from the physical sales. The brands that can’t follow the development on multi-channel solutions will loose to the benefits from the e-commerce market.     


CPD – Collection Première Düsseldorf – International Fashion Fair in Düsseldorf takes place from 26th to 28th of July.

The Düsseldorf fashion fair is busy and running its last day today. Many of the brands and exhibitors do miss the German customer, the reason is that many already made their orders at the Berlin fashion fair two weeks ago or in their central buying office. The fair gets a lot of visitors from abroad and eastern Europe as Russia.


My thoughts on that: Düsseldorf is a well-reputed fashion city for whole sellers and retailers. A lot of brands and fashion agencies have their head office or showroom located in the city or nearby. The geographical location is great, in the middle of Europe and close to Amsterdam, where also a loot of large and significant international brands have their head offices for the European market. Since the German market is very much divided in regions makes it sense for the international companies to participate in different fairs around Germany. Although, if you are looking for volume I think it is better to be focus on the central buying department and the earlier fairs. I am not the biggest fan of these kinds of fairs since I think and hope that the platform and fashion forum will develop more digitally. I understand the visual aspect and touching part of the buying process but this could be demonstrated more digitally and in a more personal forum. I will explain more in detail and the advantages in an upcoming blog.

The German retail brand Esprit partners up with PETA.

Esprit has partnered up with the animal rights organization People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to introduce PETA approved vegan hangtags to mark Esprit’s vegan shoe styles.

Vegan models are available in Europe and on their e-shop. The collection consists of PETA approved vegan trainers, made from eco-friendly faux leather and canvas.

My thoughts on that: I think it is a good action and cause from Esprit. In my opinion the brand has been a bit plain so this is definitely something that will an effect on their brand awareness. The purpose is also good due to the ecological trend in Germany I think they will reach out to a broader customer group



News from the German retail market week 29.

News from the German retail market week 29.

  • German retail market – Turn over week 29 -4%vs LY. Latest trends and best sellers in Germany during June.
  • Zalando shows positive figures in their second quarter 2014.
  • The German brand Marc O’Polo expands in Germany, Russia and China.

Turn over week 29 = -4% vs. LY.

My thoughts on that: Most high street retail stores are offering 70% discount to try to clear the rest of their summer SS14 stock. Kaufhof are using 70% offers in their newsletter and the department store Wöhrl is offering 25% further discount on already reduced items.

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The latest trends and best sellers for Men and Women in Germany during June.

Men’s fashion: World cup in Football did of course affect the trade but best sellers for Men in Germany where printed T-shirts and summery Jersey-style. Here are the results per product group vs. LY: Knitwear +5%, Suits -1%, Jeans -2%, Outdoor-Jackets -4%, heavy knitwear -5%, Paints -5%, Sport Jackets/Blazers -6% and Shirts -11%.

Women’s fashions: The best sellers for women were almost the same as in May. Skirts and dresses dominated the sales. The results per product group: Skirts + 7%, Dresses +7%, Blouses +2%, Paints -1%, Jeans -4%, Knitwear -6%, Indoor-Jackets -13%, heavy Knitwear -17% and Outdoor-Jackets -17%.


The German online company Zalando shows positive figures in their second quarter 2014.

The company shows a turn over between €520-560 million for the last three months in 2014. This is a growth between 19-28%, and would mean a break-even results on EBIT for the second quarter. In comparison to last year figures where the first half-year showed a -9% on EBIT, this is a significant improvement. The board is although careful and cautious about the growth and refer the reasons for the growth from actions within buying, logistic and marketing department. They also believe that the new logistic centre they invested in starts to pay of itself. Further figures and details to the first half year 2014 will be released end of August.


My thoughts on that: Zalando has been receiving a lot of criticism together with another large online operator Amazon due to poor working conditions in Germany. The company also didn’t have a great success with their launch of physical sales channels in Scandinavia. I think this is one of few times I read about black figures for the company. I think their business model and their previous financial conditions also has been a reason for the poor result, e.g. when I was dealing with them they were offering conventional wholesale agreement. Another cost trigger most have been their high returns and poor inventory management since this is affecting their net margin. I also assume that the contribution to cover the higher marketing (Television) costs wasn’t enough. Interesting to see that they are growing due to internal actions.

The German brand Marc O’Polo expands in Germany, Russia and China.

The company Marc O’Polo from Stephanskirchen in Germany signed a master franchise contract in China earlier this year. This means they will in Fall 2014 open up their first store in Shanghai and in Chengdu.

Russia, following two store opening in Moscow in April 2014, they will open up a store in October 2014 at the shopping centre Kuntzevo Plaza. Marco O’Polo is represented in 15 monobrand stores and one shop-in-shop store in Russia. Another store in Estonia, in the Ülemiste Centre will open up in October.

Germany, the womenswear and menswear store in Kassel will merge together to a single store with a sales area of 350 sq. Another two franchise stores will open up: one womenswear in August in Kleve and also a menswear and womenswear store in September in Recklingshausen. The brand is represented with 54 own stores and 91 franchise stores in Germany.

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My thoughts on that: Impressive development in Germany. I have had some problems to identify the brand’s position and concept for a while. Except the obvious that they are a casual brand in the higher middle-price segment, I have been wondering who their target group are? After watching the menswear market in Germany some more I am not surprise that the brand are growing. I do think they attract and are more popular in the middle and southwest part of Germany but I could be wrong. A lot of the men in Germany wear suits to work and this brand attracts and fulfills the need of the leisure part of the day and week. The customer with money  and status brand focus will of course buy Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger or Gant or another italian designer brand but I think Marc O’Polo have potential to attract a broader segment.