The Leiser Group, with its 40 Leiser and Schuhhof stores, filed for insolvency proceedings under its own management at the local court of Augsburg in March, as previously reported. The proceedings were formally approved and opened on May 26. Three trustees from the Schneider Geiwitz law firm - Arndt Geiwitz, Patrick Wahren and Christian Plail - are guiding the group's new restructuring process.
The proceedings are due to be concluded at the end of this year. The group wants to lay the foundation for a sustainable competitive position and be prepared for the challenges of digitalization and sales surface optimization, including the renegotiation of uneconomic lease agreements for its stores. Specific store closings have not been decided yet.
All orders that were placed by Leiser and Schuhhof after March 24, when the Augsburg court granted the group's application for insolvency proceedings, will be paid in full as the companies are secured by liquidity planning and loan agreements.
The Leiser Group reports that all its operating companies recorded positive net results in the 2015 and 2016 business years with overall sales of €98 million in 2015 and €95 in 2016, but it still carried a big debt hurdle from the past. Some stores were not profitable, due to fewer customers in the stores and decreasing space productivity.
Five years ago, on March 23, 2012, the management of Leiser and Schuhhof first applied for insolvency proceedings. Leiser dismissed 300 full-time employees and closed about 30 Leiser and Schuhhof stores. On July 1, 2015, Steffen Liebich, chief executive of Leiser, acquired all the shares in the Leiser retail group, which were previously owned by the Josef Seibel Group.
The Leiser Group consists of 40 directly managed shoe stores trading under different banners. Leiser is also the parent company of the 25-store Schuhhof chain.