Garant Schuh + Mode says it feels “relaxed” about the announcement last week of the establishment of a new buying group for independent shoe retailers called G-Rex, considering the experience that it has gained in the area of central settlements and the loyalty shown by thousands of retailers in spite of Garant’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Stressing that it and its Rexor subsidiary have nothing to do with the new start-up, Garant says it is investigating the legality of using the G-Rex name.

G-Rex is described as a marketing and buying group with a solid financial structure that is offering its innovative services to any of the 4,900 retailers affiliated with Garant, particularly those who are in competition with one another in certain areas, and others. Based in Cologne and Düsseldorf, it's spearheaded by two experienced executives, Thomas Schulte-Huermann, 40, and Karsten Niehus, 41.

Schulte-Heuermann will be in charge of product, marketing and retail services. He worked for Garant before leading the development of Assima, a German buying group for leathergoods, and running Primus-Online. Niehus has been involved in financing, banking, acquisitions and sales management. The new group, which should become operational early next year, has its own website,