As the German government begins to relax some of the COVID-19 social distancing measures, Gauselmann Group has set out its strategy to resume business activities.
As a result of the global pandemic, the gaming operator and manufacturer was forced to close all 700 of its gambling venues across Germany alongside 10 of its casinos.
But as the number of cases across Germany continues to decrease, Angela Merkel’s government has confirmed the lifting of a number of restrictions, allowing small shops, car dealerships and bicycle shops to reopen.
Under its new strategy, Gauselmann emphasised that ‘solidarity is the top priority’, and that job preservation is of the utmost importance.
CEO and founder Paul Gauselmann said: “Our focus is currently on preserving all 14,000 jobs in our group if possible. Our employees have been committed to the company for many years and decades, which is why we cannot now leave them alone in these difficult times. This is a big and challenging task when you consider that we currently have practically no sales.”
Since the beginning of the lockdown, 13,500 employees have been furloughed, while board members and managers, comprising circa 60 people, have agreed to waive an average of 50% of their salary.
The group has also taken part in discussions with landlords for its retail estate, which led to an initial rent reduction of approximately 50%.
“This measure helps us to secure liquid funds and to maintain a certain clout,” explained Gauselmann. “Everyone bears 50% of the damage for which they are not to blame.”
“The commercial venues in particular have the advantage that they already implement requirements in the course of the statutory provisions that correspond to the principle of the distance requirement. This means that when our venues reopen, together with additional far-reaching measures, we can guarantee optimal infection protection for our guests and employees,” concluded Dieter Kuhlmann, board member at Gauselmann Group.