ANWR Schuh is replicating its successful partnership with Skechers and Geox on its schuhe.de online portal by working with the Dutch shoe brand Bullboxer. Starting on April 20, ANWR and Bullboxer will launch a TV campaign to market four different models of Bullboxer shoes that customers can also buy at selected stores affiliated with the buying group, using click & collect and payment functions on its schuhe.de platform. The campaign will include point-of-sale support for participating retailers.

 Waldläufer and Flip Flop, the brand of Bernd Hummel, are also participating in the schuhe.de's promotions along with Skechers and Bullboxer in the first half of this year. A similar program is planned with Ecco for the autumn from next September. ANWR is trying to get other suppliers on board for its promotional online programs, especially from Italy and Spain. Each brand program currently involves about 1,000 retailers affiliated with ANWR.

Meanwhile, the schuhe.de platform, which first went live in 2013, is set to move to a higher stage later this month with the introduction of a more advanced concept, nick-named schuhe.de-connect. It will make the offerings of the participating retail members more visible through more than 1,200 so-called “digital show windows.” It will also allow them to take advantage of centralized payment and click & collect functions. Nearly 1,000 of them already offer one or the other possibility or both, in 48 cases through re-directed orders to their own online stores.

Along with a new, responsive design of the website, which will make it suitable also for mobile devices, the customer will soon find a cleaner and more emotional presentation of the local offerings and improved navigation and search functions. He or she will also be able to buy different shoes from different stores and pay for them in one go, with the possibility to return them within 14 days.

The participating retailers will get more data on the traffic through the website, placing them in a better position to compete with big pure players in the online space like Zalando, which is also investing a lot in data capture and their use. In a presentation of ANWR's new integrated omni-channel strategy to its retail members, Alexander Hock, head of its ANWR Media division, justifies the new concept with the fact that the borders between brick-and-mortar and online retailing and fading away.

ANWR plans to invest this year in viral campaigns, local events and other marketing actions to promote the new services to end consumers. It plans to launch a new loyalty program around shuhe.de, giving customers the possibility to get discounts, vouchers and invitations to events. Participating retailers will be able to install digital touchpoints at their own stores to connect consumers with the website.

The participating retailers will be able to utilize easier logistic processes and to diversify their offers. For example, they have started to offer online backpacks through a pilot project with Deuter. They will be able to use beacons to recognize customer types.

About 6,000 stores affiliated with ANWR in Germany, Austria and Spain are currently connected with its schuhe.de platform. They include retailers who work with the group through its various subsidiaries including Garant, Rexor, Quick Schuh, Goldkrone and Sport 2000.