Erich Rohde, the comfort shoe specialist from Germany, filed for insolvency at the court of Marburg on Oct. 28. The company said it was saddled with enormous financial burdens and was not able to handle them, in spite of stable sales in the main markets of Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Switzerland. Frank Schmitt, a lawyer from Schultze & Braun, has been appointed as temporary insolvency administrator.
Reportedly, Rohde is also struggling due to massive delays in deliveries of its current autumn/winter shoe collections. Many retailers are waiting for their orders. According to Schuhkurier, Rohde experienced difficulties in sourcing. Shoes that were already ordered were either not produced at all or not produced in time for delivery. Retailers that have been waiting for goods they had ordered for this autumn/winter season were told to expect deliveries at the end of November.
According to the insolvency administrator, Rohde's business will continue without restrictions during the company's insolvency proceedings, which are supposed to secure the required liquidity in order to pre-finance the production of the coming spring/summer shoe collection. Rohde's 138 employees were informed that their wages are secured until the end of this year. The company wants to develop a restructuring plan by the end of December.
Meanwhile, Rohde's new fashion-oriented shoe line, which was presented at this year's GDS show in Düsseldorf to selected clients, has been positively perceived by retailers. Offered under a different label, Erich Rohde Schuhmanufaktur, it consists of a first capsule collection of 30 shoe models for spring/summer 2017. The new line, which is made in Italy, is positioned in a higher price range than Rohde's traditional shoe collections.
Under the management of an industry veteran, Harald Neisser, the company has been trying hard to upgrade the image of the brand and to enter the fashion retail channel. Two German entrepreneurs, Viola Metzner and Hans-Joseph Orth, took over the group two years ago from Morgan Stanley and other investors after a lengthy reorganization.