Outrage in Germany because companies like Adidas or H&M stop paying the rent | coronavirus | ECONOMY
Companies such as Adidas and H&M have outraged the German population this Sunday for their decision to stop paying the rent for the stores they occupy, following the government decree to close non-essential businesses to stop the coronavirus.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz urged companies not to make drastic decisions that could harm the owners of the premises.
“It’s very upsetting when big companies decide to just stop paying rent,” Scholz told the Bild newspaper, urging companies to contact landlords to find solutions. “Now it’s time to work together,” he said.
The decision comes after the German government announced the largest bailout package to protect companies and workers from the impact of the pandemic.
Among the measures is the prohibition of expelling tenants from their homes or businesses in case of financial difficulties due to measures to stop the coronavirus.
But Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht warned company officials not to take advantage of the measure.
“It is indecent and unacceptable that big companies decide to stop paying rent,” he said in Berlin on Saturday.
German sportswear company Adidas, which posted net profits of 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in 2019, has been hit hard by falling sales in China and massive store closures.
The company, one of the best-known German brands, told the DPA agency that “it was temporarily suspending rent payments, like many other companies.”
Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer expressed his “disappointment with adidas” and reminded that many small owners would have a hard time with decisions like this.
The president of the Bavarian giant, Kasper Rorsted, assures in the Monday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper that the majority of owners are “large real estate companies and insurance companies” who have shown “understanding” with the decision to freeze the payment of rent .
adidas it will continue to pay smallholders, he said. “They will receive the rent for the month of April as always.”
The Swedish fashion giant H&M it also announced that it will stop paying rent on its some 460 shuttered stores in Germany, and hopes to find “a mutually acceptable solution” soon.
German shoe chain Deichmann also intends to stop paying rent and charges from April for as long as the government maintains lockdowns and hopes that those with political responsibility will “compensate for lost revenue to affected parties.”
Other German media also said that other chains that operate on the Internet such as Saturn and MediaMarkt as well as Puma, the rival of adidasare planning to stop paying their rent.