After Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, the fashion retailer Peek & Cloppenburg is also saving itself from imminent insolvency with protective shield proceedings. We show what should change in terms of returns, discount campaigns, product range and in the branches.


The fashion giant Peek & Cloppenburg has struggled with economic turbulence in recent years. The corona pandemic brought the fashion retailer a sharp drop in sales in 2020 and 2021. “The effects hit us hard and caused a three-digit million loss,” says Steffen Schüller, who has been running the company since June.

For years, Peek & Cloppenburg was one of the most important fashion houses in Germany. The first branch was opened in 1901 and initially only sold men’s fashion. In 1936 the range was expanded to include women’s fashion. In the 1960s, Peek & Cloppenburg expanded into several German cities and became the market leader for high-quality clothing.

Because the company overslept the online boom, Peek & Cloppenburg has been struggling with declining sales for years. “P&C Düsseldorf messed up the topic of online trading right from the start,” says trade expert Gerrit Heinemann from the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Instead of the well-known name, the company relied online on the new creation FashionID. That didn’t work. When you changed course, it was too late.

Protective shield proceedings at Peek & Cloppenburg – what does that mean in concrete terms?

A protective shield procedure means that the company wants to avert imminent insolvency. The company is supported from outside in order to restructure the loss-making company. More and more companies are currently using this option to protect themselves against impending over-indebtedness or insolvency.

The “Wirtschaftswoche” had previously reported on it. The company Peek & Cloppenburg Hamburg, which is independent of P&C Düsseldorf, is not affected by the protective shield procedure.

With the help of the protective shield procedure, P&C Düsseldorf says it wants to accelerate the restructuring that has already been initiated. In the restructuring-oriented insolvency variant, a court-appointed administrator takes over the supervision of the rescue. Management retains control, but is advised by an external restructuring expert.

What are the effects of a protective shield procedure for vouchers, returns and branches?

Operations will continue until further notice. The company management realigns operations and tries to save costs through various measures.

P&C plans to hold on to its 67 homes during the redevelopment process. According to the current status, there will also be no redundancies for operational reasons, the company said. The situation is different in administration, including the management levels. P&C emphasized that a “not inconsiderable job cut” would be necessary here. The approximately 6,800 P&C employees will receive their salaries from the Employment Agency over the next three months.

If customers want to redeem vouchers from Peek & Cloppenburg or return purchased items of clothing, this is still possible. The customer program “P&C – Insider” will also continue for the time being.

In principle, however, many experts expect the “Peek & Cloppenburg” branches to reduce and adapt their range. Slow sellers could disappear from the branches with discounts and sales. In return, the sales areas could also change.

This article first appeared on FOCUS online.


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