Austria’s Leder & Schuh has obtained support from the government and a pool of banks to relaunch its activity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company described the pandemic as the greatest challenge in its history. All 200 Leder & Schuh stores in nine countries (Austria, Germany and across Eastern Europe) remained closed for weeks in compliance with the local directives, suffering a dramatic drop in revenues that was not compensated by an increase in online sales.

The Austrian government swiftly came to the rescue, providing state aid through Cofag - its agency responsible for administering the country’s Covid-19 rescue fund - along with a bank consortium led by Steiermärkische Bank und Sparkassen AG, that allowed the company to resume its operations with new financing.

Leder & Schuh  expressed optimism about the future, thanks to the performance of its Humanic and Shoe4You brands, and is preparing its next development phase, focusing on customer service, digital innovation, new top brands and an increasingly engaging shopping experience.

Established in 1872 in Graz, Austria’s second-largest city after Vienna, Leder & Schuh currently employs 2,200 people. The group’s sales amounted to €360 million in 2019, up 2 percent from the previous year, with comparable growth reaching 2.8 percent.