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German department store Galeria Kaufhof closes 52 shops

The Local Germany
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German department store Galeria Kaufhof closes 52 shops
The logo of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is seen on a store in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

Around 4,000 employees will be affected by the closures, which are planned in two waves - starting in summer 2023.

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The last large department store chain in Germany, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, plans to close 52 of its 129 stores throughout the country, the company's central works council announced on Monday. The closures will happen in two waves - the first is planned for summer 2023 and the second in January 2024.

At least 4039 employees will be made jobless and those affected will receive a severance payment equivalent to twice their monthly gross pay. There will also be 300 job cuts at the Essen headquarters and in service functions such as IT and facility management. 

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"This is a pitch black day," the works council said in a statement on Monday.

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof has been lurching from one crisis to the next in recent years and, at the end of October last year was forced to launch protective insolvency proceedings for the second time in less than three years. 

The 77 stores that will remain open are those with a "viable economic perspective" and will undergo changes as part of a restructuring plan, the company announced.

According to the plan, these stores will offer a product range that is "more closely aligned to local and regional needs" and they will be "comprehensively" modernised over the next three years. 

READ ALSO: Which companies are currently hiring (and firing) the most in Germany?

Galeria currently still has 129 stores with around 17,400 employees and attempts are still being made to save further stores from being forced to close.

The Verdi trade union has criticised the Galeria Management for the loss of jobs and called for a new course at the top of the company as well.

Stefanie Nutzenberger, who is responsible for retail at Verdi said that, once again, it was employees who are "the ones who have to foot the bill for managers not doing their job". "There is no future to be built with the old management," she said.

Which stores will close?

The following 21 stores are to be closed by June 30th, 2023:

Celle, Coburg, Cottbus, Duisburg Düsseldorfer Straße, Erlangen, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen, Hamburg-Harburg, Hamburg-Wandsbek, Leipzig Neumarkt, Leverkusen, Munich-Bahnhof, Neuss, Nuremberg Königstraße, Nuremberg-Langwasser, Offenbach, Paderborn, Regensburg Neupfarrplatz, Saarbrücken am Bahnhof, Siegen, Wiesbaden Kirchgasse.

These 31 stores are then scheduled to close by January 31st, 2024:

Bayreuth, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Berlin-Müllerstrasse, Bielefeld, Braunschweig, Bremen, Darmstadt am weißen Turm, Dortmund, Düsseldorf Schadowstrasse, Essen, Esslingen, Frankfurt Zeil, Hanau, Heidelberg Bismarckplatz, Hildesheim, Kempten, Krefeld, Leonberg, Limburg, Lübeck, Mönchengladbach, Oldenburg, Pforzheim, Reutlingen, Rosenheim, Rostock, Schweinfurt, Siegburg, Stuttgart-Eberhard-Strasse, Viernheim-RNZ, Wuppertal

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