The Premium German kitchen manufacturer has become the first high profile kitchen brand to collapse under the coronavirus Kbb downturn as news emerged of the Poggenpohl insolvency filing in Germany.
Although Poggenpohl vows to continue trading, the news of such a big hitter in the German kitchen sector has sent shockwaves through retailers as they come to terms with growing uncertainty as the Covid-19 economic fallout worsens.
Administrators were appointed earlier today this week by Munich-based GP Adcura, the parent company of Poggenpohl Möbelwerke GmbH. In announcing the Poggenpohl insolvency filing, the company said the brand had seen a ‘considerable decline in orders and sales since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic’.
Although Poggenpohl has said that it will continue to trade as it searches for new investors, given the lack of certainty in the global Kbb sector, not immediate return to normal and the lack of appetite for lending and new investments, Poggenpohl face a Herculean task in trying to secure the business beyond the current crisis.
It is understood that the salaries of the 270 employees for the months of April through to June 2020 are to be secured in the short term by insolvency pre-financing.
Poggenpohl insolvency & Retailer Uncertainty
In a letter to retailers, managing director Gernot Mang said:
‘We would like to reassure you that insolvency does not mean the Poggenpohl story is over and that our working relationship has come to an end. On the contrary, we aim to keep the company and the Poggenpohl brand going and to place even more focus on you, the independent dealers and distributors, as our most important sales channel.
‘Our relationship with you is crucial for the success of this search for investment. Even more so, it is an essential element of getting Poggenpohl back on track.
‘We are therefore asking you to stick with us during these difficult times and for us to continue on this path together.
‘Other important sales channels include the company’s own flagship stores, retail outlets, kitchen studios and project business with larger construction units. In addition, Poggenpohl had successfully strengthened its distribution network in Asia by setting up a joint venture for sales at the end of 2019.
‘As a result, the order books for the second half of the year are also well filled. As part of the insolvency proceedings, the aim will therefore be to continue the restructuring of Poggenpohl and preserve the company as well as the brand.’
Munich-based industrial holding company Adcuram Group acquired 98.57 per cent of luxury kitchen manufacturer Poggenpohl in 2016 but has not clarified how the new investment is expected to proceed, in terms of an equity buy in, or full sale of Adcuram holding.
Despite the Poggenpohl insolvency filing it is understood the company had been performing well before the Covid-19 pandemic and wider economic downturn which has all but put the Kbb sector to a complete stop.
Poggenpohl have 13 locations in the UK, mainly focused around London, the South East and in Scotland where there are showrooms in Carlisle, Edinburgh, Kilmarnock, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Although the brand had a Poggenpohl Manchester, which won many awards over the years that showroom has since closed and at present only Poggenpohl Birmingham exist in the North and/or the Midlands.
You only have to look at the likes of Bauen Design in Glasgow to see what can be achieved with great design skills and Poggenpohl furniture, so it would be a shame to lose such a positive contribution to the UK Kbb industry.