DUESSELDORF, Germany Jan 30 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)