The family-owned Kienast Group has won a bidding race for a strategic investment in the insolvent Schuhpark Fascies chain of shoe shops in Germany. The creditors of Schuhpark Fascies have already approved the investment from Kienast and the broader insolvency plan. Both firms expect that the district court of Münster will repeal the bankruptcy proceeding at the end of June.
Founded in 1975, Schuhpark Fascies offers shoes for women, men and children in the mid-price segment at 68 stores in Germany, down from about 80 before the insolvency proceedings began in March. It currently employees 900 people in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein, 116 of them in the central warehouse and logistics and 33 in the administration. The chain will continue to be run independently.
The Kienast Group is one of Germany's five largest shoe retailing group, running around 400 shops that sell eight million pairs of shoes per year. In the retail sector, Kienast is present on the market with various banners: ABC Shoe Center, K+K Shoe Center, Shoe4You, Claudio Schuhe and Street Shoes. In the wholesale segment, Kienast supplies specific sets of shoes, according to the location, in more than 100 sales areas in self-service department stores and cash & carry outlets.
Kienast said it chose to invest in Schuhpark because of its position in the market, which fits well with the group. Bernhard Fascies, managing director at Schuhpark Fascies, will continue to work for the company as an adviser. With Kienast's support, the chain's stores will be refurbished. As part of a restructuring plan, however, Schuhpark Fascies will close 18 stores in various regions by the middle of this year at the latest, when the rental contracts expire.
The company filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 9 due to difficult market and competitive conditions, and the increasing departure of customers in favor of online retailing platforms.
Georg Bernsau and Andres Pantlen, restructuring experts at the law firm BBL Bernsau Brockdorff & Partner, joined the executive board next to Bernard Fascies and prepared the restructuring plan for the district court of Münster, in consultation with the solicitor.