Peter Kaiser Schuhfabrik, the German manufacturer of women’s shoes, has gone into insolvency. The proceedings were opened on Dec. 1, after the company filed an application with the Pirmasens district court on Sept. 14. Self-administration was ordered and talks with several potential investors are currently being held. Legal counsel Günter Staab of Rechtsanwälte Staab & Kollegen in Saarbrücken was appointed as provisional administrator of the footwear manufacturer. 

The protective shield procedure, which will enable the company to continue trading under restructuring, was motivated by a decline in sales stemming from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The retail sector was treading water before the coronavirus spread across the country, and Peter Kaiser was also hit by the sales drop. When the pandemic struck hard in the spring, the restructuring plan drawn up by the management was already underway. 

Although the company continued to operate though its online sales platform, consumer mood remained bleak. After  the first lockdown, sales in brick-and-mortar stores only partially recovered, owing to a falling number of visitors in city centers and a marked general uncertainty among consumers. Sales are seen dropping 40 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

Women’s shoes and handbags will continue to be manufactured at the main plant in Pirmasens, in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany, and in Felgueiras, Portugal. Because of the recent partial lockdown, part of the workforce is currently on short-time work. 

The Peter Kaiser Retail business is not affected by the insolvency proceedings. The unit oversees footwear distribution in physical stores and online, as well as the shoe factory in Felgueiras. 

Peter Kaiser Schuhfabrik was founded in 1838. It employs around 200 people in Pirmasens and a total of about 650. Around half of the 750,000 pairs of shoes produced annually are exported. Last year’s revenues totaled €48 million.