The insolvent department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof wants to close fewer branches than originally planned, according to the concession of the landlord Chemnitz andLeverkusen "again a future perspective". This would keep around 750 employees in their jobs.
According to Müllenbach, it was possible in difficult negotiations to adjust the general economic conditions so that the branches could continue. For the remaining 56 department stores on the closure list, there are still "no future economic prospects" given the high rents and socio-demographic location disadvantages.
Just two weeks ago, to the dismay of many employees and the affected municipalities, the group announced the closure of a total of 62 branches in 47 cities. The general representative Arndt Geiwitz emphasized at the time: "This step is without an alternative because these branches endanger the company's overall existence." A little later it became known that the group also plans to close 20 out of 30 branches of its subsidiary Karstadt Sports and up to 24 branches of Karstadt Feinkost.
Municipalities affected fear inner cities' desolation
Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof had suffered a serious crisis due to the pandemic closure of all branches and had to look for a protective shield procedure in early April. As a result of the corona pandemic and the economic downturn that it triggered, the company expects to see sales of up to 1.4 billion euros by the end of 2022.
In the municipalities affected by the department store closures, the announcements in many cases raised concerns about the desolation of inner cities. The Vice President of the German Association of Cities, Markus Lewe, said: "The massive closings of branches at Karstadt Kaufhof are a deep cut for the cities concerned. With these department stores, a place of supply and encounter is lost".