Supported the retailer's store rationalisation programme as part of a pan-European project.

Gordon Brothers was appointed by German fashion retailer Bonita to support its restructuring proceedings as the COVID-19 crisis hindered retail across Germany.

The pan-European project included the trade out of 238 stores throughout Germany, Austria and the Netherlands as part of their store rationalisation programme. The programme provided a financial guarantee on selling all stock to zero, both in store and with a portion of aged, centrally stored and surplus inventory.

Bonita is a large fashion retailer based in Hamminkeln, Germany. Established in 1969, Bonita has built a strong market position and brand awareness for best-age women. The company’s retail store portfolio spans over six European countries.

In June 2020, Bonita filed for insolvency protection and appointed Roland Berger to lead the mergers and acquisitions process with Bonita’s management.

Gordon Brothers participated in a competitive public tender process and was successful in the bid to manage the store closure programme as part of the retailer’s restructuring. We were selected because of our proven experience in the retail fashion sector and previous experience managing global projects like Bonita. Our retail team was well positioned to successfully complete this major pan-European project having previously managed over 100,000 stores and 3 billion euros of inventory at retail value.

The Bonita project included the closure of 238 stores on a guaranteed financial basis in a pre-agreed timeframe, starting on October 5, 2020 that was completed by December 24, which allowed the client to hand over the stores to landlords by the year end.

Gordon Brothers deployed a team of over 15 retail professionals, each managing covering up to 20 stores. This enabled the client to focus on the ongoing store estate.

Our team faced many COVID-19-induced challenges including changes in government guidelines and enforced lockdowns in all three countries. We adopted a flexible approach, quickly reacting and adapting to rapid changes in relation to the ongoing pandemic.

Gordon Brothers navigated these extraordinary circumstances and delivered the closure programme on time. We met the project sales goals and financial recovery targets, allowing Bonita’s management team to focus primarily on their ongoing business with c450 stores still in operation.

Karsten Oberheide, Bonita CEO, were pleased to work with a professional retail expert like Gordon Brothers.

“Gordon Brothers helped us leverage millions of retail inventory of Bonita and support the required restructuring while at the same time preserving the integrity of the strong Bonita brand,” said Oberheide.

“We’re proud to support Bonita’s team with their restructuring plans while preserving the integrity of their brand as they continue to trade,” said Olaf Galler, Gordon Brothers Managing Director, Europe Retail.