The ANWR Group booked a 3.7 percent increase in its total “business volume” last year to €8.5 billion. The German-based cooperative retailing group achieved this performance in spite of a drop of 1.7 percent to €1.65 billion in the combined centralized settlements of its shoe-related buying groups: ANWR Schuh, Garant, Rexor and Quick Schuh.

The group noted that the brick-and-mortar shoe retail sector in Germany suffered an overall sales decline of 2.0 percent in 2015, while the sporting goods specialty sector ended up more or less flat. Sport 2000 and ANWR's other buying groups for sporting goods retailers in Germany, Switzerland and the Benelux countries, managed to raise their centralized settlements by 8.1 percent to €960 million. Goldkrone, the group's cooperative of leathergoods shops, made a satisfactory progress, too.

About 5,400 retailers with more than 10,000 points of sales in several European countries are affiliated with the various specialized buying groups of ANWR. Sport 2000 benefited from the entry of 170 new retail members, 130 of whom specialize in running and outdoor (more on this in Sporting Goods Intelligence Europe).

ANWR's two financial institutions, the DZB Bank and the Aktivbank, raised their business volume with third parties by 4.0 percent to €5.8 billion, again making the biggest contribution to the total turnover. In particular, Aktivbank's relatively new factoring operating reached a 15 percent increase to over €300 million in the volume of its transactions.

Schuh & Sport Mücke, the shoe and sporting goods retail chain controlled by ANWR, raised its own turnover by about 20 percent to €112 million in 2015, with growth of 2 percent on a same-store basis. As previously reported, Mücke is serving as a testing ground for Retail Logistics and other innovative digital solutions, including the use of RFID chips, being developed by ANWR for use by its retail members in the future.

ANWR says that its higher overall turnover has generated cash that it will be able to use to invest in new projects this year, such as the more advanced schuhe-de-connect online platform discussed in the next article, which is intended to support the omni-channel strategies of the affiliated retailers. In the past year, ANWR started to gain online access to the inventories stocked by some of its suppliers. It also began to follow the “customer journey” from the entrance into the store to the contacts made after the purchase.