A new candidate has emerged to acquire a “substantial” number of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department stores. A new kid on the block, fashion chain Aachener, is interested in some locations currently occupied by the ailing German department store chain.
Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof reportedly want to sell 90 of its 129 department stores to get out of the financial trouble the chain is in. Finding buyers appears to be no easy task: the stores in question are quite large and located in smaller towns. Earlier talks with Markus Schön, the owner of online retailer buero.de, ended in failure.
However, a new candidate has come forward: fashion entrepreneur Friedrich Göbel, founder of the multi-brand chain Aachener. Only active for one year, the fashion chain already has six branches (three of which are in former Galeria premises). Göbel would like to continue growing, but it is not clear how many branches he would like to take over. Talks are ongoing and would involve “a larger number” of stores, trade journal Textilwirtschaft reports.
Galeria has been facing major financial problems for years: the department store chain has too many shops and lacks a sharp profile. The merger between Karstadt and Kaufhof brought no relief and the pandemic only exacerbated the problems. Recent restructuring and even financial injections from the German government have proved insufficient to refloat the company: since November, the retailer has been granted protection against its creditors.
Galeria’s Belgian subsidiary Inno, meanwhile, is not affected by the problems in Germany. The chain with fifteen department stores carried out a successful repositioning and even closed 2022 with a profit.