Once again, a traditional Hamburg company is facing financial collapse – but not just any company. The Hamburg “Bree Collection” is also valued in the Chancellery.

The “Bree Collection”, a renowned Hamburg manufacturer of bags and accessories, has officially filed for bankruptcy. This is reported by “Wirtschaftswoche” and “Hamburger Abendblatt”. The brand, founded in Hanover in 1970, is considered a cult by many – Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also uses one of its models.

Scholz is said to have bought his leather briefcase in the 1980s “as a young lawyer.” A loyal companion: According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the Chancellor is said to have once said about his “Bree” bag: “My briefcase accompanies me to every appointment, every trip abroad and even on vacation.”

And what’s next for the makers of the Chancellor bag? According to reports from “Abendblatt” and “Wirtschaftswoche”, the Hamburg district court has ordered the appointment of Dietmar Penzlin from the law firm SJPP as provisional insolvency administrator. It is intended to stabilize ongoing business and ensure that the company’s 40 employees can also access the insolvency money.

Despite the bankruptcy filing, the “Bree Collection” bags continue to be sold in Germany and Austria. The shops in these countries should remain open, with some of the goods being offered at reduced prices.

The sales channels in online retail and in the wholesale customer business should also be retained. According to “Wirtschaftswoche”, the branches in Switzerland, which are operated by an independent company, are not affected by the bankruptcy.

“Bree Collection” should survive with a new investor

The insolvency administrator wants to sell the “Bree Collection” to a new investor by April 1st. The bag manufacturer was founded in Hanover in 1970 by the designer Wolf Peter Bree and his wife Renate. From the beginning, natural leather was used for the “Bree” bags.

In the 1980s, the company expanded internationally and opened stores with franchise partners in Tokyo and Beverly Hills, USA. In 2018, co-owner Axel Bree, the last representative of the founding family, withdrew from the company. In the same year the company moved to Hamburg.

The “Bree Collection” had already gone through insolvency proceedings under self-administration in 2019. At that time, the rescue came about through the entry of the Portuguese automotive supplier Coindu. The exact reasons for the new bankruptcy filing were not initially known on Thursday.


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