BMinister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) has criticized well-known companies such as Adidas and H&M, which stopped renting their branches in the Corona crisis. “I think the behavior of Adidas is irresponsible and I have no understanding for it,” Heil told the “Handelsblatt”. Adidas has made high profits in recent years. “Now everyone has to shoulder the crisis together (…) Everyone is asked not to crouch.” There was also harsh criticism from the Haus & Grund association. If large companies such as Adidas, Deichmann and others no longer paid their store rents in rows, it would be a dam break, said association president Kai Warnecke.
Heil’s party colleague and finance minister Olaf Scholz also criticized the decision by Adidas and Deichmann. In the picture on Sunday, Scholz said: “It is irritating when large companies simply announce a freeze on rent payments. Now is the time for cooperation. A good business relationship also means communicating with each other in difficult times. ”
The SPD co-chair, Saskia Esken, called the behavior of the sporting goods manufacturer “shabby”. Still, she doesn’t think “that the [Adidas, d. Red.] can invoke the law “. Actions such as the burning of Adidas clothing, such as those posted by the Bavarian SPD MP Florian Post on social media, were described by the SPD chairwoman as “foreign embarrassing”.
Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) also criticized: “If financially strong companies simply no longer pay their rents, this is indecent and unacceptable.” The Corona Aid Act would not provide a basis for this. It continues to apply: “Of course, tenants have to pay their rent. If they actually experience serious payment difficulties as a result of the crisis, they can only be terminated for a limited period. “
Adidas, meanwhile, said the company wanted to continue paying rent to private landlords in its stores. “Our landlords are private individuals only in exceptional cases; we have exempted them, they will receive their April rent as usual, ”Adidas boss Kasper Rorsted told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Most of their own businesses would be rented by major real estate marketers and insurance funds. They would have shown mostly understanding for the measure to temporarily stop rent payments.
Rorsted said the situation was serious. “At the moment we can only do our business normally in three countries around the world and otherwise sell online.” E-commerce is growing strongly, but only represents 15 percent of the business. The Group CEO announced that Adidas would apply for short-time work for production, warehouses and employees in the self-operated stores in the coming days. “We will need credit, we at Adidas as well as the economy as a whole.”
In Germany, tenants of residential and business premises are still obliged to pay their rents. However, due to an emergency law in the corona crisis for payment arrears from April 1 to June 30, 2020, they cannot be terminated at first. If the epidemic lasts longer, this period could also be extended. With the emergency law, politicians want to prevent tenants from losing their homes and shop tenants from losing their professional lives.