In Germany, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, the parent company of the Belgian Inno stores, is receiving nearly a quarter of a billion euros in additional financial aid to absorb the consequences of the coronavirus crisis.
No Christmas markets
According to the Belgian newspaper De Tijd, the net amount of new state aid is 220 million euros. In practice, the German government is putting 250 million euros on the table, but 30 million goes towards the partial repayment of the financial aid that the department store group already received last year. Then, the amount was 460 million euros.
The fresh capital comes from the German Covid support fund WSF. At the end of last year, the company turned to the German government because it was suffering badly from the country’s Covid measures, such as the cancellation of the Christmas markets.
Retail experts are questioning the new state support because the department store chain has been struggling for a long time. In their view, the chances of German taxpayers ever seeing the money again are minimal. Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, which belongs to the Signa group, has 130 branches throughout Germany. It employs 16,500 people.