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Five million shopped at Schlecker in final month

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Photo: DPA
12:25 CEST+02:00
More than five million people went shopping at drugstore chain Schlecker in July - to take advantage of its closing down sale as the national chain hit bankruptcy and shut up shop.

A third more people stormed the shops last month than in June, after it became certain that the chain was doomed, the weekly magazine Focus reported on Sunday.

Figures from the market research institute GfK show that 5.1 million people shopped at Schlecker in its last month of business. And they spent an average of €15 each, significantly more than people were spending per visit when the shops were trading normally, the figures showed.

Since the last Schlecker stores closed, their business selling deodorant, toilet paper and shampoo has been fairly evenly divided between supermarkets, discounters and other drugstores, the GfK said.

The closure of more than 7,000 shops in the huge bankruptcy left landlords sitting on more than €16 million in unpaid rent, Der Spiegel magazine reported at the weekend. Schlecker was once Germany’s largest drugstore chain. Its bankruptcy left more than 30,000 workers without jobs.

Insolvency administrator Arndt Geiwitz had given three months’ notice to all landlords at the start of July.

But the magazine said that not only have many rental payments not been made since then, building owners have spent significant sums on removing shop fittings, and in some cases changing the locks.

Although the costs can be reclaimed from the administrators, landlords cannot expect the full sums to be reimbursed, the magazine said.

The Schlecker family fortune is still under investigation, with questions raised about the transfer of founder Anton Schlecker’s personal assets to his wife and children.

DAPD/The Local/hc

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