Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt to close 52 shops across Germany
A national institution since the 1800s, Galeria Kaufhof-Karstadt has announced that it will close 52 shops in Germany by January 2024. 5.000 employees are set to lose their jobs.
Karstadt and Kaufhof to close German stores
The staple of many German high streets, Galleria Kaufhof and partner company Karstadt has announced that it will soon close 52 stores across the country. An initial 21 shops will close by the end of June 2023, and an additional 31 by the end of January 2024.
Kaufhof currently employs 17.400 retail workers in 129 shops nationwide. Now, according to the Kaufhof-Kardstadt workers council, 5.000 employees will be out of a job due to the closures.
This summer, shops in Hamburg, Munich, Leipzig and 17 other German cities will shut their doors. Then, from January 31, 2024 branches in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Bremen and 35 other locations will close for good.
COVID marked beginning of the end for Kaufhof-Karstadt
The Kaufhof-Kardstadt chain, previously two competing department stores which were merged in 2019 by its billionaire Austrian owner and investor Rene Benko, has been facing financial difficulties since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
In October 2022 the chain was saved from insolvency for a second time in less than three years, receiving 680 million euros from German Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF) each time. CEO Miguel Müllenbach addressed Kaufhof-Kardstadt employees at the time, citing the rising cost of energy and Germany’s consumer slump as the main existential issues the company faced.
Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt both opened at the end of the 1800s. Owned by the German-Jewish Hermann Tietz, the Kaufhof department store was infamously boycotted and then seized by the Nazis during the 1930s.
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