KiK Textilien und Non-Food GmbH is a textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

Discount store
A discount store is a type of department store, which sells products at prices lower than those asked by traditional retail outlets. Most discount department stores offer a wide assortment of goods; others specialize in such merchandise as jewelry, electronic equipment, or electrical appliances...

 based in Bönen
Bönen is a municipality in the district of Unna, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated between Hamm in the north-west and Unna in the south-east.- References :...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, founded in 1994 by Stefan Heinig
Stefan Heinig
Jost-Stefan Heinig is CEO of the major German company KiK Textilien und Non-Food GmbH from Bönen . KiK came under pressure by dumping salaries and abusing female workers in Bangladesh and other countries in the Third World Countries. Stefan Heinig participates with his Dortmund Firma H. H. Holding...

 and the holding company
Holding company
A holding company is a company or firm that owns other companies' outstanding stock. It usually refers to a company which does not produce goods or services itself; rather, its purpose is to own shares of other companies. Holding companies allow the reduction of risk for the owners and can allow...

 Tengelmann Group
Tengelmann Group
Tengelmann Warenhandelsgesellschaft KG, doing business as the Tengelmann Group, is a holding company based in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.-Structure:The corporation has the following subsidiaries:*A&P Tea Company ; 362 stores...


KiK is the largest textile discounter chain in Germany and operates over 2,900 stores in Germany, Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...


KiK is an acronym
Acronym and initialism
Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. These components may be individual letters or parts of words . There is no universal agreement on the precise definition of the various terms , nor on written usage...

 for (The customer is king).


KiK have, in the past, sponsored a number of football team
Football team
A football team is the collective name given to a group of players selected together in the various team sports known as football.Such teams could be selected to play in an against an opposing team, to represent a football club, group, state or nation, an All-star team or even selected as a...

s, namely Arminia Bielefeld
Arminia Bielefeld
DSC Arminia Bielefeld is a German sports club from Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia. Arminia offers the sports of football, field hockey, figure skating and cue sports. The club has 11,394 members and the club colours are black, white and blue...

, Werder Bremen
SV Werder Bremen
SV Werder Bremen is a German sports club best known for its association football team playing in Bremen, in the northwest German federal state of the same name. The club was founded on 4 February 1899 as Fußballverein Werder by a group of sixteen vocational high school students who had won a prize...

, Hansa Rostock and VfL Bochum
VfL Bochum
Verein für Leibesübungen Bochum 1848 Fußballgemeinschaft, commonly referred to as simply VfL Bochum, is a German association football club based in the city of Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia.-Founding to World War II:...

. They currently sponsor referees of the Austrian Football Bundesliga and in January 2009 also sponsored the German national team
Germany national handball team
The Germany national handball team is the national handball team of Germany. Germany won the handball world cup in 1938, 1978 and in 2007 as the host of the handball world cup-Achievements:Olympic Games* winner in 1936...

 at the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship
2009 World Men's Handball Championship
The 2009 World Men's Handball Championship took place in Croatia from 16 January–1 February, in the cities of Split, Zadar, Osijek, Varaždin, Poreč, Zagreb and Pula. Croatia was selected from a group of four potential hosts which included the Czech Republic, Greece and Romania.The opening game and...


Verona Pooth
Verona Pooth
Verona Pooth is a German television personality, beauty pageant titleholder, and occasional actress. In 1993, she was Miss Germany and Miss Intercontinental and represented her country at Miss Universe.She married Franjo Pooth in 2004, and they have one son, San Diego...

 has been the face
In promotion and of advertising, a testimonial or show consists of a written or spoken statement, sometimes from a person figure, sometimes from a private citizen, extolling the virtue of some product. The term "testimonial" most commonly applies to the sales-pitches attributed to ordinary...

 of KiK's television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 advertising campaign
Advertising campaign
An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication...



KiK have been criticised by the Clean Clothes Campaign
Clean Clothes Campaign
The Clean Clothes Campaign is the garment industry's largest alliance of labour unions and non-governmental organizations. The civil society campaign focuses on the improvement of working conditions in the garment and sportswear industries...

 for their bad practises in countries such as Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, where factory workers, often children, are paid as little as
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

18–24 per month.

While running almost 50,000 secret credit rating
Credit rating
A credit rating evaluates the credit worthiness of an issuer of specific types of debt, specifically, debt issued by a business enterprise such as a corporation or a government. It is an evaluation made by a credit rating agency of the debt issuers likelihood of default. Credit ratings are...

s of staff, overtime
Overtime is the amount of time someone works beyond normal working hours. Normal hours may be determined in several ways:*by custom ,*by practices of a given trade or profession,*by legislation,...

 is often not paid, despite accusations and lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

s of KiK paying below minimum wage
Minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

 to their staff in Germany.

Swastika-styled clothing racks

In 2009, a man from the German state
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

 pressed charges against KiK under Strafgesetzbuch § 86a, which outlaws the "use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations", for the chain using swastika
The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form in counter clock motion or its mirrored left-facing form in clock motion. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient...

-styled clothing racks in their shops.
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