Jun 30, 2017
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Departing Gerry Weber exec steps down from Hallhuber too, Lohner moves up

Jun 30, 2017

News last week that Gerry Weber Group executive Norbert Steinke was stepping down from the management board has been followed up with an announcement that he is also quitting as managing director of the younger, more trend-focused Hallhuber brand.


The executive is stepping aside for personal reasons and the parting is amicable, the German company said on Friday.

Group CEO Ralph Weber praised the “major contribution to the successful development of Hallhuber” that he had made and said the company “regrets his departure.” Steinke in turn said that he is convinced that both the Gerry Weber and Hallhuber brands are on the right track.

Steinke had announced that he was stepping down from the three-person Gerry Weber management board on June 21 but at the time it was suggested that he would stay on at Hallhuber.

So where does that brand go from here? The company said that its activities will be managed by Richard Lohner, who joined its management team in 2010 and who has “made important contributions to the company's successful development ever since.”

From the middle of July, Rouven Angermann will also support its management team as an external consultant and primarily take care of Steinke's former tasks. Angermann is an “acknowledged retail expert and has held various positions in the fashion industry for more than 20 years, including that of Head of Sales and Retail at Street One,” Gerry Weber said. He is also a partner in the well known management consultancy h+p hachmeister + partner in Bielefeld and will retain that role.

Steinke had been in charge of Hallhuber since 2009 and retained control of the smaller unit within Gerry Weber after it was acquired by the firm in October 2015. He was also put in charge of retail operations at the wider group and widely respected for his retail expertise.

While the group’s more recent struggles to drive growth have taken some of the lustre off his earlier achievements, it has to be said that he took on the wider role within Gerry Weber at one of the toughest times for mainstream mid-market brands both in Europe and other regions.

A number of major name groups, including the UK-based owner of the Jacques Vert brand and venerable label Jaeger, have struggled as the more conservative consumer has changed her buying habits. In recent years she has increasingly shopped online and has also found a strong offer available to her from lower-priced brands.

Meanwhile, more on-trend labels such as Mint Velvet have also drawn the discretionary cash of consumers at the trend-focused end of the market while department store own-labels have also eaten into long-established brands’ market share.

But Hallhuber has been in a stronger position than the main Gerry Weber labels to compete with such competition given its more contemporary edge.

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