EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change



Geographic Location

Country: Austria


Sector: Retail
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
47.11 - Retail sale in non-specialised stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating
Number Employed: 2500
Group: Pfeiffer

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 26-11-2015
Planned Job Reductions min: 2700
Planned Job Reductions max: 3000
Type of Restructuring: Bankruptcy
Employment Effect Start: 26-11-2015
Direct Dismissals: 2700

Additional Information

On 26 November 2015, indebted Austrian retail chain Zielpunkt, part of Pfeiffer group, declared bankruptcy resulting in the loss of up to 3,000 jobs.

The Upper-Austrian trade group Pfeiffer took over Zielpunkt in 2014. Despite investments the ailing retail chain recorded further losses. According to media reports only one third of all Zielpunkt stores were profitable. A drop in sales in October and November further worsened the company's economic situation. Keeping the company going would have required an investment of €60 million over the next three to five years. Given the poor economic prospects and the high amount of debt Pfeiffer decided to open insolvency proceedings in early December. Wages and other claims will be covered by the Insolvenz-Entgelt-Fonds (IEF, insolvency fund).

The insolvency affects 2,700 employees, including 200 employees currently on parental leave. Additional 300 jobs are at stake at Pfeiffer's logistic centre. Trade unions are accusing management of not consulting social partners in time. The trade groups way of proceeding also came under severe criticism as some of the profitable Zielpunkt stores will probably be taken over by other retail chains owned by Pfeiffer, Unimarkt and Nah&Frisch, to expand their business. Competitors have indicated interest in taking over some of the remaining stores.