The German shoe retail chain will be concentrating on its profitable core business in the future. In the framework of a comprehensive restructuring process, Görtz is putting its whole sales and distribution concept, its network of stores, and its administration and logistics apparatus to a test.

The company plans to open 10 new stores by 2014, but about 30 of Görtz' existing 260 stores will be closed down, taking account of the leases expiring between 2012 and 2014. The downsizing of the network will mainly affect some of the older Görtz 17 stores and smaller Görtz stores in unprofitable areas. The five Görtz Shoes stores, which carry only private label, will be shut down. The majority of the employees of these stores will be able to move to the other stores in Germany, but the Görtz 17 stores in Poland will all be closed down.

Among other things, the new strategy calls for the repositioning of the trendy Görtz 17 collection by getting closer to the core Görtz brand in terms of the store locations, store presentation and product lines. It should be mode more sophisticated, according to a German press report, to differentiate this young fashion line from the likes of Zara and H&M.

The Hamburg-based retailer wants to break even quickly and to reposition itself as a leading national shoe retail banner in the quality segment. A restructuring program initiated by the present management team – consisting of Thorsten Hermelink, Christian Moritz and Jörn Peters – is planned for the next 24 months. Görtz expects to reach positive results in 2013.

Textilwirtschaft indicates that Görtz suffered a loss of between €5 million and €10 million in 2011 on a 4 percent drop in total sales to €397 million. A further sales decline of 3 percent was recorded in the first half of 2012, including a 17 percent drop for the Görtz 17 chain.

The company operates currently 90 Görtz stores, 17 Görtz 17 stores and 20 Hess stores in Germany. It also has 58 stores in Switzerland, six in Poland and two in Austria.