Germany's Strauss department stores seek creditor protection
DUESSELDORF, Germany Jan 30 (Reuters) - Strauss Innovation, a German chain of small department stores, said on Thursday it was seeking protection from creditors to try and rescue its business which has 96 shops across the country.
Strauss, owned by U.S. private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, has suffered from a mild winter hurting sales of cold weather clothing, industry sources said.
Earlier this week, German department store Karstadt said its sales fell 3 percent in the key Christmas period, while rival Kaufhof said the mild winter weather had dampened sales of clothes.
Department stores and other retailers have also been losing sales to online players. In Germany, online sales rose 54.5 percent over the Christmas period from the same time the year before. Across the continent, online transactions rose 37 percent in December.
In Britain, Debenhams, a 200-year-old department store chain with 156 stores, issued a profit warning earlier this month after heavy Christmas discounting.
Other German retailers have also run into trouble, including home improvement chain Praktiker, which filed for insolvency last year and drugstore group Schlecker.
Strauss Innovation was founded in 1902 in the western city of Duesseldorf and employs 1,400 staff. (Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, writing by Emma Thomasson. Editing by Jane Merriman)