The German footwear chain Görtz received a €28 million loan from the German federal government’s Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) to weather the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The company’s funding request was approved in April, according to the ministry of economics.
The ailing Hamburg-based firm was granted the much-needed funds to help it recover from sluggish sales over the last year due to lockdown restrictions and store closings during the pandemic. Görtz, with its stores located at train stations and in shopping centers, suffered a hefty sales drop during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020. While online sales increased from 15 to 25 percent in 2020, they failed to compensate for the drop in brick-and-mortar retail, and the latest lockdown in 2021 put an additional strain on the company.
Established in 1875 in Barmbek near Hamburg, Görtz has around 180 branches in 90 cities across Germany and Austria and employs 3,200 people. The retailer offers fashionable footwear collections for women, men and children. In addition to brands such as Cox, Another A or Belmondo, the stores showcase a wide range of products, from high street to hip fashion brands such as Vagabond or Ash.
In 2019, before the pandemic struck, Görtz reported sales of around €255 million, according to the financial statements in the Federal Gazette.
Last November, the company opened its capital to its top manager as it underwent a management shake-up and further advanced its multichannel strategy by pushing its online presence.
Since the onset of the coronavirus crisis, Germany’s Federal Economic Stabilization Fund has already supported several companies, either through loans or direct investments. Among the companies that have received WSF funding are Lufthansa, tour operator TUI, department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, shipbuilder MV Werften and steel producer Georgsmarienhütte.