Refurbishment of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof: Every third job in danger

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof in crisis.

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof in crisis.


A comprehensive renovation is imminent for Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof.

According to the redevelopment concept, more than 10,000 jobs are at acute risk, reports the “Lebensmittelzeitung”.

In an interview with “Wirtschaftswoche”, the Group’s restructuring consultants also give hope that more branches than expected could survive.

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is to be comprehensively restructured. According to information from the “Lebensmittelzeitung”, this emerges from the management’s restructuring concept. Accordingly, not only are numerous locations to be closed and a third of the jobs cut, the Group is also to be fundamentally restructured. Different areas could be bundled and departments could be outsourced to separate companies. However, the concept has not yet been decided.

Report: More than 10,000 jobs at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof are in acute danger

The “Lebensmittelzeitung” claims to have learned from insiders that more than 10,000 of the approximately 30,000 jobs at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof are in acute danger. In addition, the remaining employees are threatened with a significant drop in salary, as upcoming pay increases are to be suspended. The goods service team, which has so far been directly employed by the group, could be outsourced.

Since the end of March, the department store chain, which has been in an acute crisis as a result of the corona pandemic, has been undergoing a protective shield procedure to avert bankruptcy. In a letter to the managers of the department store group, according to the newspaper, it was said for the rescue “contributions from shareholders as well as from suppliers, landlords and employees are necessary. This is the only way our company can survive in the long run ”.

The closure of branches also reportedly depends on whether their landlords are willing to cut rents. The Signa Group, the owner of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, probably only owns part of the property itself. There is no official information. According to the report, Signa and its partner René Benko should be ready to continue investing in the company. A medium three-digit million amount is possible.

General representative: Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof can be “saved despite all the problems”

It was recently announced that two areas could be particularly affected by the restructuring, as the “Lebensmittelzeitung” once again confirmed. Accordingly, up to 20 of the 30 branches of Karstadt-Sport are on the verge of extinction, as is the headquarters of Karstadt-Sport in Essen. The travel business could also be outsourced in whole or in part in the future. Other daughters such as Dinea Gastronomie or Karstadt Feinkost also threatened cuts. According to reports, a total of up to 80 of the 172 branches of the department store chain could close.

In an interview with the “Wirtschaftswoche” on Wednesday, the general representative of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, Arndt Geiwitz, also said that the department store group “can be saved despite all the problems”, “although not necessarily in its current form”. In the same interview, bankruptcy lawyer Frank Kebekus then gave a little hope that it might not be as drastic as previously feared. The 80 branches are not the final number, he said. And: “We took a very close look at all branches and can imagine reducing the number of closings even further.”

The two also speak in the interview of three lists – a black one, on which the profitable department stores would stand, which are not threatened by closures; a red one, with department stores that are closed in any case, and a gray one, on which are the department stores that are not yet certain. “Ideally, maybe two-thirds of the 172 department stores could continue in the end,” says Kebekus. And Geiwitz admits: “We do not want to deny that this is horror news for the employees.” This is the only way to save the company.

Verdi union sharply criticizes plans

The Verdi union sharply criticized the plans in a message: “This is brutal! It appears that the company management and the owner are misusing the Corona crisis in order to still implement their original plans for site closures and layoffs, ”Stefanie Nutzberger, the federal board member responsible for trade at the United Services Union (Verdi), accuses the Trading group.

Even before Christmas, the group had guaranteed the future for the department store and thus also a location and job security in the collective agreement. “A few weeks later, the turnaround and a clear cut come at the expense of the workers. Implementing this planning would have a devastating impact on the approximately 35,000 employees at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof and in the group, ”said Benefitberger.

In a press release by the General Works Council of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, it said: “The cruelty measures in the draft of the restructuring plan are hard to beat and a general attack on all employees.”

The company’s remediation officers, Kebekus and Geiwitz, had already indicated that “the restoration ahead of us must be far more determined” than “we would like it to be”. The management also wrote that “unfortunately there must also be site closures and, accordingly, job cuts”, wrote “Manager Magazin”.

You can buy a mouthguard from these retailers

The corona crisis is causing great difficulties for the department store chain, which is already under pressure. There were already losses before, but the group lost around 80 million euros in sales per week during the closure of the branches. By the end of April, the shortfall had grown to more than half a billion euros, and the company management is expecting sales to drop by up to one billion euros overall.

cd / ph / sg / cm / dpa


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