Delivery problems in retail: waiting for the new sneakers


As of: 27.10.2021 6:43 p.m.

Due to corona restrictions, the production of many sporting goods manufacturers in Asia is stagnating. Buyers have to wait due to delivery problems. Puma nevertheless spreads optimism – is the industry going up again?

By Constantin Röse, ARD stock exchange studio

If you want to buy new sneakers, you have to be patient at the moment. Some models are not available. Martin Schreiber from the Bonkers sneaker store in a trendy district of Frankfurt is a bit annoyed: “Sometimes something comes, sometimes nothing, then a lot comes at once, then nothing comes for weeks. It’s a bit difficult,” he reports.

Whether it’s Adidas, Nike or Puma – Schreiber has to put off many customers again and again: When a new shoe or a normal shoe comes out in a new color, many ask: “Will you get it too?” Then he could only answer: “Yes, we just don’t know when. It is always such a thing that none of the end customers really know these supply chains.”

Containers are scarce

It is precisely these supply chains that disrupt the world of sporting goods manufacturers, explains Jörg Funder, Professor of Business Management in Retail at the University of Worms. “In fact, we are currently facing the long-term coronavirus consequences: We have left the lockdowns behind us, but we are now noticing that the global supply chains in particular are causing problems,” he says.

The reasons for this are more complex than expected. On the one hand, there is a shortage of containers that are actually supposed to bring goods from Asia to Europe, or entire port terminals are down due to corona cases.

Lars Mikael Jensen from Maersk, the largest shipping company in the world, is to blame for more than just shipping logistics. “Thousands of containers are unloaded from Asia every week, so it’s not like the process stops,” Jensen told the BBC. “It’s also about how retailers and importers prioritize their distribution.”

Puma has to relocate production

But there is another reason why Puma, for example, could not grow quite as quickly in the third quarter. The DAX group had to shut down its production in Vietnam due to high numbers of infections and has now relocated parts of its production to China or Indonesia.

Puma boss Björn Gulden is optimistic about the future: The outlook for the industry in general and for Puma in particular is very positive. At the end of the year, the sporting goods manufacturer therefore expects an increase in sales of at least 25 percent.

Many stores ordered early

The Christmas business will also be decisive. Jörg Funder from the University of Worms is in good spirits. There will only be empty shelves for individual products. “Quite often these goods don’t just arrive at Christmas, but are also ordered a little earlier,” he says. Most companies were aware of the problems and ordered early.

This also applies to Martin Schreiber’s team in the Frankfurt sneaker store. Here, the stores were filled in the summer and are now hoping for the Christmas business – and an end to the delivery problems.

Puma has more confidence – a good sign for the industry?

Constantin Röse, HR, 27.10.2021 · 15:52


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