German fashion chain Peek & Cloppenburg has applied for a moratorium on payments.

The department store chain Peek & Cloppenburg has applied for an extension of the payment deadline in Düsseldorf today. A spokesperson told German media that the company’s German branch was in financial trouble and wanted to buy time to meet with creditors.

Operating in fifteen countries, the chain had already begun a restructuring. According to the group, the company’s money saved by not paying creditors for a period of time will be used to accelerate this restructuring. However, delay in payment is often a harbinger of bankruptcy. No payment deferral request has yet been made for the Dutch branch.

Peek & Cloppenburg’s sales fell sharply in the 2020 and 2021 Corona years. Damage amounted to hundreds of millions of euros. Few customers managed to find the store last year. According to CEO Steffen Schüller, the chain is also suffering from rising production costs for clothing, delivery problems, rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine.

The Peek & Cloppenburg branches and webshop in Germany and the Netherlands will remain open for now. The most remarkable store of the chain in our country is located in Dam Square in Amsterdam. There are also branches in Rotterdam, The Hague, Almere and the Mall of the Netherlands in Leidschendam.

ready to wear

The retail chain was founded in the Netherlands in 1869 by two German namesakes, Johann Theodor Peek and Heinrich Anton Adolph Cloppenburg. This makes it one of the oldest fashion chains in our country. The first stores were in Rotterdam and Utrecht. Two entrepreneurs opened their first branch in 1901 in Germany, where most branches are located today.

The concept was innovative at the time. Peek & Cloppenburg ran small stores with products from all sorts of manufacturers, and what was special was that they sold ready-made goods – one-size-fits-all clothing. It was still common at that time to wear tailored (second-hand) clothing. But with Peek & Cloppenburg and rivals C&A and V&D, the range of ready-to-wear fashion suddenly became much wider and therefore affordable.

skip with webshop

The fashion chain could not maintain its innovative character. Especially in the last two decades, the group has lagged behind in investing in e-commerce too late. The Dutch webshop only went online in 2019 after significant investment. This now seems like the wrong decision. The co-executive manager says he wants to focus more on stores and less on online sales today.

Peek & Cloppenburg employs 15,000 people internationally. There are 6,800 employees in Germany.

Source: NOS