Austrian promises new life for Schlecker shops
Published on: 01 Dec 2012 11:01 CET
Investor Rudolf Haberleitner said on Friday he would take over hundreds of one-time Schlecker branches closed when the drugstore chain collapsed earlier this year.
He has, since August, converted 1,350 former Schlecker branches in Austria and other European countries into such all-round shops under the chain name Dayli.
At the time of insolvency Schlecker still had 5,000 branches in Germany and more than 25,000 employees lost their jobs.
“I expect to employ up to 3,000 workers in Germany by the end of next year, depending on how quickly we expand,” Haberleitner told the Handelsblatt newspaper on Friday.
The new shops will be part drugstore, part grocery shop, and also offer a range of services such as dry cleaning, photocopying and an online order service, a combination Haberleitner was confident would fill a gap in the market.
“In Germany there are really no corner shops any more; no matter whether Rewe or Edeka, you have to drive your car to get to them,” Haberleitner told the paper. “Just by being nearer we offer a bit more in living standards.”
Habnerleitner said he had already chosen 484 former Schlecker branches in southern Germany and Rhineland Palatinate and was in negotiations over premises in Berlin, Brandenburg and Thuringia.
Receiver Arndt Geiwitz, who presided over the Schlecker bankruptcy, is so far not involved in Haberleitner's plans, but a spokesman confirmed that he would actively support the bid to reopen the branches as all-round shops. “He thinks it's a solid concept,” said the spokesman.
The first 50 to 60 shops would be set up in January, said the investor, and he expected them to open their doors to customers in mid-February.