Working as a single organization, named ANWR-Garant International, the two buying groups are taking new initiatives to consolidate their respective organizations in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, France and other countries. The two cooperatives will continue to concentrate on the optimization of the existing structures, said Robert Natter and Matthias Grevener, who are leading this process, indicating that it will take three to five more years before they will venture into new markets.

With 2,400 affiliated shoe retailers operating about 3,800 shops in about 15 European countries, ANWR-Garant has attracted new suppliers as international partners. After Geox, a new such partner is Pikolinos.

New services are being offered to the retail members of both groups in individual countries. In the Netherlands, for example, where they have a total of more than 600 members, they have set up a common new showroom in Nieuwegein and they are organizing a big joint fashion show for their jointly sourced products. More than 650 members from the two organizations are benefiting from the services of Garant France, which has conducted a survey to determine what else they may want.

As in Germany, the two organizations are offering their support for the sell-out in France as well as in Poland. ANWR's DZB bank is providing credit lines for earlier purchasing of footwear to the retailers that are submitting their balance sheet for its examination, and they are proving particularly welcome in France and the Netherlands due to new local financial restrictions. Personnel training initiatives are in the pipeline, like the one offered to the members of Quick Schuh in Germany.