Insolvency administrator Arndt Geiwitz announced the measure on Wednesday, saying, “This is a cut needed for survival.”
"We'll need to close more stores than I would personally have hoped,” he added.
More than 1,000 Schlecker shops have been closed down over the last few years, with the intention of renovating the remaining ones – but the money for this ran out in January and the chain filed for bankruptcy, closely followed by its subsidiary IhrPlatz, which has 650 shops and around 6,000 staff.
Geiwitz said that insolvency proceedings should start at the end of March, after which time Schlecker could no longer be run at a loss – otherwise there would be no chance of attracting investors.
The workers' council has called for state help to keep shops in rural areas. “This is a matter of principle – it was also a theme with Opel and the banks,” said Christel Hoffmann, chairwoman of the council, in the middle of February.
“We are not after a rescue for Schlecker or anything like that. But politicians should also consider how granny and granddad who live in the country are going to get their denture adhesive,” she said.