“The rents are the problem that is breaking the necks of retailers,” HDE head Hubertus Pellengahr told the paper, encouraging landlords to lower costs to save companies from collapse.
“Five thousand medium-sized retailers will capitulate this year. No one is talking about them,” Pellengahr said.
The Woolworth department store chain – which took a further step toward collapse on Tuesday after a Frankfurt court said it had been placed under administration – is among these companies, he said. If the company owned by the British investment group Argyll Partners fails as it recently did in the UK, it would affect 9,700 workers in Germany.
Meanwhile German retailers Hertie and SinnLeffers have recently blamed their failure on high rents.
Industry expert Jörg Lehnerdt, from BBE Retail Experts, also plead for more flexible rents.
“It would be good if the property owners would require rents based on store profits,” he told the paper.