We recently reported on the apparent demise of the UK trading arm of Hein Gericke. As suspected, the HG German parent company did in fact buy out the UK arm, an option made easy for them since they were the major creditors / suppliers, enforcing the liquidation in the first place. With vast direct experience of retailing their own product, the deal was a no brainer. To be fair to HG HQ, this wouldn’t have happened had the UK operators / licencees managed to keep their heads above water in an unpredictable market. It is far too early to say how all this will effect prices in the long term: the good news is that HG product has improved massively in recent times, and with Head Office running the show from top to bottom in the UK, the quality aspect should continue to flourish.
Our main concern was with the shop floor, and early reports suggest that pre buy out staff have been retained, although we understand that some retail points will be retained. Anyone working for the new outfit – in any capacity – is cordially invited to drop us a line. Meanwhile we hope to be talking to HG ourselves in the near future in order to get some kind of coherent overview of the market and how they propose to tackle it.
Earlier this week, Hein Gericke stores throughout the SW closed their doors for an indefinite period. As yet we have no info as to whether or not this scenario has been replicated elsewhere. Recent reports suggested that a buyer had been found, which may indicate that the properties will re-open, and even continue trading in the same sector. Of more immediate concerns are the implications of all this for HG staff, especially in store workers. At the time of writing, we are unclear as to what exactly has been purchased by whom. We hope to get a more definitive statement in the near future. Watch this space for further updates. Meanwhile we’d be interested in hearing from anyone who worked for HG in the UK. Feel free to drop us a line.