Left Menu
Development News Edition

Outrage in Germany as Adidas, H&M stop rent payments

PTI | Frankfurtammain | Updated: 30-03-2020 00:19 IST | Created: 29-03-2020 23:58 IST
Outrage in Germany as Adidas, H&M stop rent payments
Representative Image Image Credit: Pixabay

Global retailers including Adidas and H&M sparked outrage in Germany on Sunday after announcing they planned to stop paying rent on stores that have been forced to close over the coronavirus outbreak. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz urged leading companies to refrain from taking rash action that could hurt property owners.

"It's irritating when large companies simply announce a halt on paying rent," Scholz told the Bild daily, urging retailers to reach out to landlords to find solutions. "Now is the time to work together," he said.

The move comes after the German government unveiled a major rescue package to protect companies and jobs from the economic impact of the pandemic. It includes a provision that temporarily shields tenants from being kicked out of their homes or business premises if they experience financial hardship over the coronavirus measures.

But Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht warned company bosses not to take advantage of the measure. "It is indecent and unacceptable if financially strong firms now just stop paying their rents," she said in Berlin on Saturday.

German sportswear maker Adidas, which made a net profit of nearly two billion euros ($2.2 billion) in 2019, has been hard hit by a slump in Chinese sales and massive store closures. The company, one of Germany's best-known brands, told DPA news agency that it was "temporarily suspending rental payments, just like many other companies".

German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said he was "disappointed by Adidas", pointing out that many small landlords would be left out of pocket. German MEP Katarina Barley tweeted that she had bought her last pair of Adidas trainers, in a post that received over 9,000 likes.

But the Bavarian giant hit back, with CEO Kasper Rorsted telling the Monday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily that the bulk of Adidas's German landlords were "large real estate companies and insurance firms" who had "mostly shown understanding" for the rent freeze decision. Adidas would continue to make payments to small private landlords, he said. "They will receive their April rent as usual." Swedish clothing giant H&M likewise said it would not be paying rent on its roughly 460 closed stores in Germany, telling DPA that it had informed landlords and hoped to find "a mutually acceptable solution" soon.

German shoe store chain Deichmann intends to suspend rent and service charges from April for the duration of the government-ordered closures. A spokesman for the Essen-based company told DPA that it expected those with political responsibility "to compensate for the lost rental income of the affected parties".

Other German media outlets reported that electronics retailers Saturn and MediaMarkt as well as Adidas rival Puma also planned to halt their rent payments for now. The Ceconomy group that owns Saturn and MediaMarkt said Sunday that it intended to apply for state aid to weather the coronavirus crisis.



Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...


Latest News

Spain reports no new COVID-19 deaths since Sunday

Spain reported no new deaths from the coronavirus for the second day running on Tuesday, with cumulative deaths unchanged from Sundays total of 27,127, according to the health ministry.Diagnosed cases of the disease rose by 137 from Monday ...

Macy's flagship store in NYC, luxury shops looted amid protests over George Floyd death

Retail and luxury stores in Manhattans popular shopping destinations Madison and Fifth Avenues, including Macys flagship store, were vandalised as looters broke into the stores and stole merchandise worth thousands of dollars as violent pro...

PM Modi spoke to me about cyclone Nisarga and assured Centre's support: Maha CM Uddhav Thackeray.

PM Modi spoke to me about cyclone Nisarga and assured Centres support Maha CM Uddhav Thackeray....

COVID-19: 6 more test positive in Goa's first containment zone

Six COVID-19 cases were detectedin Goa on Tuesday, all from Vascos Mangor Hill area, whichwas declared a containment zone after two cases were reporteda day earlier, an official saidGoa now has 79 COVID-19 case, though the number ofactive o...

Give Feedback