Josef Seibel has decided to close down Der Kleine Muck, which specializes in children’s footwear. The expansive German shoe company, which also owns Romika, had bought this brand in 2001, but it has now decided to shut down the loss-making operation, dismissing at least 18 of its 70 employees and keeping the others for its two other brands. Seibel has cited a poor market situation, lower prices for children’s shoes and growing competition from manufacturers in Eastern Europe and Asia. There are also indications that children prefer shoes from so-called lifestyle brands instead of classic children’s footwear brands.