Q&A with German footwear retailer Deichmann

1. Deichmann is a market leader in the German and European omnichannel retail footwear sector.  Can you tell us a bit about your scale and set-up?

Deichmann is a family-owned business established in Essen, Germany, in 1913. We have approximately 3,850 branches across 24 countries and employ around 38,250 people.

We are strictly owner-governed, ensuring full control on all aspects of our verticalised business, from manufacture, logistics to distribution and omnichannel retail. This makes us fast and efficient, forming the solid basis of our consistent growth. We offer the broadest selection of shoes in the market, responding quickly to the latest fashion trends and bringing the latest styles to all our stores at reasonable prices for a high quality product. Today, Germany accounts for 40 % of our business and our other target markets/segments are many countries in Europe and the USA.

2. How important is eCommerce for Deichmann?  

We’ve been selling footwear online since 2000 when we were the first shoe retailer operating a large-scale online shop. Today, we operate about 25 online outlets offering a comprehensive omnichannel experience with a smooth transition between our real and virtual stores. We also offer free home delivery for any sizes or colours that are not available in-store.  

2. Omnichannel is the key word of today’s retail business. What is needed to make the concept efficient?

For large-scale operations like ours, it is imperative to have full logistics and automation processes in place before rolling out a new service. For any new offering, we begin from the customer’s perspective, occasionally testing a new proposition within a small controlled environment to ensure all key elements are operating at peak efficiency. We only extend the offer to a larger market when all aspects in the back office (from stock management to finance) and customer facing processes (from sales promotion to payment) are thoroughly thought-through and tested. 

4. You mentioned payments, what role does your payment provider play?

Payments is a key element for any retail business. Payment processing and execution must be a smooth, fully integrated part of a positive customer experience. In 2007 we chose SIX Payment Services (SIX) as our dedicated payment provider across all our channels. SIX supports us both in-store and through our eCommerce channels and ensures we adhere to the regulatory environment in all the countries and territories in which we can operate with SIX. 

5. How has your long-standing relationship with SIX helped your business?

Over the years, SIX has been a strong business companion, providing us with comprehensive payment support as our business has grown. Most importantly, SIX has a similar business culture where all our projects and initiatives are driven from our headquarters. We’ve built up a long-term partnership based on collaboration, understanding and expert knowledge. SIX is our congenial partner when it comes to our centrally managed payment solution which includes card acceptance, terminals, eCommerce and PSP services – all delivered from a single source. SIX also provides robust and comprehensive central data management and highly efficient consolidated financial reporting across all markets in exactly the format we require.

6. Can payments help improve customer loyalty?

We are constantly working at combining all our sales channels into a seamless customer experience. SIX provides fully integrated payment systems allowing for a smooth transition across our channels including click-and-collect, click-and-return, order in-store. SIX also improves loyalty by facilitating the acceptance of local customers’ preferred payment methods in a variety of countries. Together we are working on a new mobile payment solution for our more youth-oriented stores: e.g. for tablet-based online orders within a branch.

7. What are the main challenges you face in relation to payments and how has SIX helped you overcome them?

It is imperative we remain in tune with our customers’ behaviour and have the right payments systems in place to adapt to new purchase methods. Over the last decade we have seen a dramatic change in the retail industry as more customers embrace technology and the ease and convenience it can offer. Customers today have enormous choice both in the way they make a purchase to their payment preference. SIX has allowed us to capitalise on this and introduce new and innovative payment channels which we believe provide our customers with a competitive and compelling retail experience.

About SIX Payment Services:

As one of Europe’s largest payment providers, and a market leader in Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg, SIX Payment Services supports merchants of any size and industry with the acceptance and end-to-end processing of their customers’ card transactions. State-of-the-art terminals, innovative mobile payment solutions, and tailor made solutions for specific retail sectors help merchants to save money, earn additional revenues, and their customers an integrated payments experience. With over 1,100 employees and 10 office locations, SIX Payment Services supports merchants and banks across 33 different countries.