Hertie, Guiding one of Germany’s Most Popular Retail Companies Through Insolvency: Weber-Thedy, Switzerland

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PROJECT: HERTIE, GUIDING ONE OF GERMANY´S MOST POPULAR RETAIL COMPANIES THROUGH INSOLVENCY
AGENCY: WEBER THEDY – SWITZERLAND
CLIENT: INSOLVENCY ADMINSTRATOR, DR. BINER BÄHR, WHITE & CASE – DÜSSELDORF

Project of the Year: 2010

Background

Hertie was one of Germany’s most popular department store chains with 74 outlets spanning the whole country. Approximately 3,500 people were on the payroll when it ran into serious financial difficulties in spring 2008. These culminated in an insolvency filing on July 31.

Objectives

• To develop internal and external PR strategies

• Act as company spokesperson

Programme

Multi-faceted to deal with all aspects of day-to-day relations to high-level contacts including addressing national and international audiences that included employees, unions, workers’ councils, suppliers, customers, creditors and owners. European, federal, state and local members of government and parliament, bankers, investors and the financial communities in addition to the media.

Results

The issue received disproportionaly high awareness among the German public and is often taken as a showcase for corporate crisis management.

Several thousand clippings were generated and the spokesperson for Hertie was one of the 300 most frequently quoted people in Germany in 2009.

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