Görtz focusing on online sales, in-store trade and new target groups
The Ludwig Görtz GmbH has weathered the corona crisis well and especially online and even expanded its target group. When Görtz stores finally reopened in mid May, the company made a committment to in-store business. "Being state of the art in e-commerce alone is not enough. A strong network of branches is just as important," said Frank Revermann, Managing Director of Sales, Marketing, E-Commerce and Purchasing. In an interview with Hamburg News, Revermann discusses the future of retail in Hamburg.
Hamburg News: Mr. Revermann, Ludwig Görtz GmbH is a traditional, Hanseatic company and has made a clear commitment to the in-store business. What makes you believe in stationary trade?
Frank Revermann: Yes, we are growing strongly in the digital sector and especially in the challenging corona crisis. However, our shops have the advantage of brand awareness, on-site availability and people can actually touch the goods which makes for a different experience. As an omnichannel company, we place particular emphasis on our digital services. Customers can choose a shoe online and try it on in our shop or get inspiration from other models. Thus, all the channels interact and it stands us in good stead.
Hamburg News: Germany experienced a push towards digitalisation during the corona lockdown. Görtz's online business has also picked up. Have you developed new target groups?
Frank Revermann: When the pandemic began, we did not notice any difference in age groups. However, for some weeks now, we have noticed that the average age of our "new online customers" is increasing every week. Given the backdrop of overall growth online, we are actually reaching older target groups online as well.
Hamburg News: The pleasure of shopping is still mired by the compulsory wearing of masks. What is Görtz doing to lure people back into the shops?
Frank Revermann: Our services are still an important means of welcoming customers to our stores. Our on-site advice is still an important advantage when visiting the store.
Hamburg News: Is the city centre still attracting enough shoppers despite corona?
Frank Revermann: Downtown Hamburg is a beautiful north German city of 2 million inhabitants. It has everything the heart desires and caters to both residents of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and tourists from all over the world. I cannot imagine anything that this beautiful city lacks. Shops, restaurants, museums, cultural and sports activities all provide an ideal range of offers for a city of this size.
Hamburg News: Many people will be sad to see the closures of Karstadt Sport and Galeria Kaufhof. Does this offer any new possibilities?
Frank Revermann: The city has for years lost sight of a strategically important goal - namely generating living space in the city centre. That would make the Mönckebergstrasse more attractive and modern and would help ensure the attractiveness of downtown Hamburg in the long term. This could be achieved, for instance, by providing living space for students. Creating more districts elsewhere would be just as disastrous as developing the Überseequartier - from both a retail perspective and in terms of the city's attractiveness for residents and tourists. We only have the tourist and resident frequencies once and we cannot increase them by adding a restaurant, establishing a museum or opening up more shops. Living spaces revitalise inner cities and ensure that other developments follow suit. City centres need young people to remain vibrant.
Ludwig Görtz GmbH
Ludwig Görtz GmbH sells shoe fashion and accessories. Founded in 1875 by Johann Ludwig Görtz, the traditional Hamburg-based company operates around 180 shops in 90 cities in Germany and Austria and employs over 3,000 people. Before joining Görtz as Managing Director in November 2015, Revermann was Managing Director of Bonita for 13 years and later CEO of MFO mattress manufacturer.