ANWR Schuh, the biggest German cooperative of independent shoe retailers, launched one year ago its new online platform, schuhe.de, to connect consumers with the e-commerce sites of affiliated retailers. While consumers were until now able to check the availability of a certain products at the online stores of affiliated retailers, they will soon be able to see if the desired product is available at a local retail store before actually going to the store.

Retailers will also be able to show their range of products via a digital shop window on schuhe.de.  In order to prepare its members for the digital data exchange, ANWR will offer special training programs. In a first step, 100 retailers will participate in the program.

Through a cooperative advertising agreement with Skechers, schuhe.de had a lot of television exposure last July, as we have already reported. Skechers financed the promotion in exchange for sizeable orders from ANWR's retail members. Viewers were invited to check to see which stores affiliated with ANWR nearest to them were carrying the Skechers styles advertised in the commercial. In the end, affiliated retailers ordered 44,000 pairs of shoes ahead of the campaign. For the next TV campaign, which will be launched in April, ANWR's members in Germany have already ordered 55,000 pairs of shoes. A similar promotion will be launched again this July.

ANWR Schuh, announced at its annual press conference during the GDS fair in Düsseldorf an increase in its centralized settlements of 1.4 percent in the first two months of this year compared with the same period of 2013. For the whole past year, they were up by 3 percent to €818 million.

Affiliated retailers achieved on average a slight increase in their sales of 0.5 percent in the past year. The beginning of 2014 has been very positive for most affiliated retailers, as sales increased on average by 10 percent in the first two months of this year compared with the same period of 2013.

While the number of affiliated points of sale increased from 3,100  in 2012 to 3,300 in 2013, the number of affiliated retailers declined once again from 985 in 2012 to 973 in 2013. Thus, the average number of points of sale per affiliated retailer rose from 2.2 shoe stores in 2004 to 3.4.

To support its affiliated retailers, ANWR Schuh has decided to give them back bonuses of €28.4 million for 2013, 3.5 percent more than a year ago. ANWR Schuh works together with 800 partner suppliers with which the German buying group has signed contracts to give its members special conditions. General incentives and provisions for sales with contract suppliers amounted to €13.5 million, while the total bonus for members was €13.5 million in 2013.

Rieker, Wortmann, Gabor Shoes, Ecco and Paul Green, in that order, were the most demanded brands among the members of ANWR Schuh in 2013, followed by Ara, Clarks, Lloyd, Wendel and Legero.

As reported previously in Shoe Intelligence, ANWR Schuh will combine its ANWR First and ANWR 2nd trade shows into one house show, ANWR FirstOrder, which will take place from Aug. 19 to 21 this year, just over two weeks after the GDS show, due to be held from July 30 to Aug. 1. The ANWR Fashion Days will take place on Sept. 8-10.  In 2015, the ANWR FirstOrder will take place on Feb. 24-26, while the ANWR Fashion Days will be held on March 10-12. The new order center O1 in Mainhausen will be open during all the shows.