Which segment is better for retail

"Segment could be better represented"

In the case of L'uomo, dealers and landlords have not come to an agreement. Are there more frequent problems with renting at the moment - or are the owners also being accommodating?

Jan König: Next to the staff and the purchase of goods, rent is one of the highest regular costs. There was and is great resentment because many landlords were initially not prepared to cut back because of the lockdown and the loss of sales. On the other hand, there were landlords who did this relatively quickly. So the picture is very mixed. Local landlords still have a certain local patriotism and usually know the tenants personally. There were fewer problems. Some of the larger landlords were not within reach, and negotiations could not be entered into so quickly. Our recommendation was: Contact the landlord, because we have a situation in which we can speak of the loss of the business basis. We warned against simply stop paying like a major sporting goods manufacturer.

Successors are certainly difficult to find.

Yes, the landlords can also add one and one together. If they lose their tenant, they may not get a new tenant on the terms. That's why the worries were addressed. The German Trade Association and the Central Real Estate Committee have agreed on a code of conduct that not only the tenant can bear the burden. One component was, for example, that the rent for the time of the lockdown is halved under certain conditions.

Vacancy has been a problem in Bremen for a long time. How does it look in Oldenburg?

The city is also struggling with vacancies there. But in Heiligengeiststraße, for example, something is now beginning to change, but there is primarily services and less trade.

Saturn moved to the street years ago. The departure cost frequency.

Perhaps that was the drop that broke the barrel. But there were already problems beforehand. The changes in retail were felt quite early there. If an anchor tenant then leaves, that is not good for such a street on the outskirts of the city center, which is cut off by the Heiligengeistwall. Corona is only accelerating structural change, which we are feeling painfully in the textile retail trade. He is what worries us most. Textiles are still being bought, but the business is shifting to online trading. In contrast, the stores in stationary retail are currently full. And the summer goods unfortunately lose more of their value every day.

Oldenburg was often seen as a role model here - because of the small streets and shops. Do you think the city will come through the crisis better than Bremen? There have been many construction sites here before.

In relation to the city center, that could be the case. The large number of owner-managed shops make the difference to Bremen. The urban situation is also very different. And in Bremen we also have different proportions and dimensions of the buildings. The famous round trip is still missing here. In the inner city you have to get active now. When you consider how long investors like Mr. Zech have been presenting their plans ... nothing has happened. And now there is such a bang because of Corona. Sure, there are many objective reasons, but politics and administration could certainly have provided more support. That takes revenge. Now it comes twice.

L'uomo sells designer clothes. In Bremen, the offer for this is manageable. Was there a lack of luxury in the Hanseatic city? Because of the size?

The segment could be better represented. Is it the size of our city? As Christian Jacobs says: Bremen is the largest city between Hamburg and Amsterdam. The trading location is therefore also quite interesting for this segment. But size is relative, because the providers can also be found on Sylt. In the case of high-priced goods, of course, the relevant group of buyers must also be interested in coming to the city. There are opportunities for this in the inner city development.

Interview conducted by Lisa Boekhoff.

Jan König has been the general manager of the Northwest Trade Association for five years and in this function represents the interests of the trade in Oldenburg, Bremen and many districts in Lower Saxony.