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Ernsting's Family boss Timm Homann on 2G: "We will complain against this, down to the last euro"


The head of the Ernsting's Family fashion chain railed against the latest Corona resolutions - and announced legal action. More plaintiffs are likely to follow.

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Ernsting's branch in Oberhausen (archive): Wants to take legal action "against this regulatory nonsense"

Photo: imago images / Revierfoto

Ernsting's Family is a traditional German company.

Founded by Kurt Ernsting in the sixties, the fashion chain now has around 12,000 employees in 1,900 branches.

In view of the latest 2G resolutions by the Prime Ministers, today's boss Timm Homann has now burst the collar.

The trade is made by politics permanently "as a bargaining chip against the unvaccinated," Homann is quoted in a statement sent by a spokesman.

"Political measures against retailers are purely symbolic politics and have no real relevance," the manager rants - and refers, among other things, to growth in business in the non-regulated supermarkets and drugstores that have increasingly offered fashion in the past shutdowns.

"Do you think that a sock or T-shirt less was sold somewhere?" Asks Homann in the statement.

In fact, a large food discounter is currently actively promoting sportswear in its new brochure from December 9th.

Politicians ensure "arbitrarily and without professional foundation that some companies get richer and others lose substance and perspective," criticizes Ernsting's boss Homann.

"In this facet it has taken on the traits of a banana republic!"

Kik: 30 percent less sales at 2G

Homann, head of the company holding company since 2014, announced that he would take legal action against this nonsense of regulation.

What is happening now is "disproportionate, illegal, undemocratic and largely unreimbursed."

What the business economist is so upset are the resolutions of federal and state representatives to contain the corona pandemic on Thursday. According to this, 2G should apply in the catering and retail sectors in the future: Access only for vaccinated and convalescent people, exceptions are only provided for shops with daily needs. Homann fears that while one will have to legitimize oneself in the future at Ernsting's Family, among others, customers at Rossmann, Lidl or the baker will be uncontrolled.

Company boss Homann now announced: »We will sue against this, down to the last euro. The political failure of the state must be addressed, at least the damage incurred must be compensated fairly and with decency (and not slyly smurfy without any integrity) for those who make special sacrifices. "The courts would now have to" take action against this incomprehensible dilettantism. " .

The large bookstore chain Thalia is also affected by the new rules. "We are currently examining the option of a lawsuit together with the other affected business colleagues," said a spokeswoman. At C&A, on the other hand, they are even more reluctant, a spokeswoman said: "We are following the instructions of the authorities, although experience since the beginning of the pandemic has shown that retail stores, including ours, are usually not the primary sites of infection and transmission of the virus."

Kik boss Patrick Zahn is already significantly louder.

"These measures are of no use in combating the pandemic, but they are causing great damage in the retail trade," he criticizes, according to the "Handelsblatt".

Like Ernsting's boss, Zahn also spoke, according to the report, of a “state failure that politicians will once again pass the problem on to the small group of non-food traders”.

In the three federal states in which 2G is already in place, the clothing chain is currently making 30 percent less sales at full cost.

Aid limit reached

The Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) expects the 2G rule in stationary retail alone to result in losses of around 5.3 billion euros in December.

According to the federal government, existing bridging aid should be extended, but Ernsting's boss Homann is not enough.

He criticized the fact that federal aid that had been widely announced had only "been launched in a marginal structure" and that there were hurdles and upper limits everywhere.

According to the HDE trade association, many companies have already reached the currently set upper limit for state aid this year during the shutdown, while online retailers such as Amazon, Zalando and Co. get an additional boost during the important Christmas business.

Ernsting's Family should therefore not be the only known company that now wants to take legal action against the new Corona resolutions. A trade association spokesman said he "firmly expects that there will be some lawsuits." He refers to an expert opinion by the renowned law firm Noerr, according to which the restrictions that have now been decided are unconstitutional and, among other things, the retailers' freedom of occupation would be inadmissibly restricted.

Meanwhile, fashion retailer Homann assures that the company is doing "everything it can to help combat this terrible pandemic with many victims."

However, Homann demanded: »Close where the contagion occurs and compensate these sectors / people fairly.

Acts factually and not driven! «The 2G regulation that has now been implemented shows no incidence / hospitalization reference, so it is precisely not responding to the current development in a targeted manner.

Meanwhile, the company stepped in for its employees: "We vaccinate, educate, donate".

The short-time work allowance is increased by Ernsting's Family to 100 percent for all employees, mobile working is made possible, while the company has had to endure "completely disproportionate damage for two years."

He considers it absurd that retailers should in future also check whether the 2G rules are being complied with in stores - and points out that he has to protect his employees.

If something happens to one or one of them, says Homann with a view to the fatal shots of a mask refuser at a gas station in Idar-Oberstein, "then this is my personal worst-case scenario."

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-12-03

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