In the first seven months of this year, the total business volume of the ANWR Group went up by 53 percent to €10.2 billion, driven by a 76 percent increase to €8.6 billion in financial services, but the buying groups of ANWR suffered a 10.7 percent decrease in their own revenues, down to around €1.6 billion.

In the areas of footwear and leathergoods declines of 19 percent and 32 percent, respectively, were recorded by subsidiary buying groups like ANWR Schuh, Garant and Rexor.

The sporting goods retailers affiliated with Sport 2000 in Germany, Switzerland and the Benelux countries, which belong to ANWR, raised their combined orders through the group by 5 percent, thanks in part to the registration of many new retail members.

For 2019, the ANWR Group has reported a growth of more than 50 percent to €14.6 billion in its total business volume. Aside from a modest 3 percent increase in its transactions with the affiliated retailers in the sporting goods, footwear and leathergoods sectors, the rest of the growth came from the transactions of the group’s DZB Bank and Aktivbank, which help finance the activities of more than 80 similar cooperatives and their 20,000-odd retail members. Their operations were boosted by the takeover of the centralized settlements of a German discount bank.

The figures were released on Sept. 7 during the annual general assembly of the German-based cooperative as it celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was originally planned to take place in June.

During the meeting, the spokesman for the board, Frank Schuffelen, argued that the cooperative business model of ANWR demonstrated its strengths during the coronavirus crisis. The affiliated independent retailers were able to rely on the group’s centralized settlement system to get their orders paid for. The group helped them also to negotiate delayed deliveries. After the retail lockdown was lifted, it organized a Facebook campaign to encourage customers to buy shoes.

On the other hand, ANWR’s financial services are now being used by its retail members to secure enough liquidity in order to avoid insolvency. In this framework, ANWR’s DZB Bank and Aktivbank are providing them with two free “jokers” to help pay their invoices for the coming autumn/winter season, in addition to channeling loans from the federal German government’s KfW bank.

Another major asset has been ANWR’s long-standing e-commerce platform, schuhe.de, which won more than 100 new shoe retailers during the recent retail lockdown. Its experience is being used to help the members of Sport 2000 in their digitalization process.