Olivier Van den Bossche, previously top executive at the company for 14 years, is returning home to Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof. The current COO of Rituals will become Managing Director Sales at the German department store group.
Saviour in times of need
An old acquaintance reappears at Galeria, fully-owned Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof. Olivier Van den Bossche will become Managing Director Sales at the German merged company from 1 June. With Van den Bossche in that position, the chain of department stores, including Belgian subsidiary Inno, wants to focus more on sales. In this way, the group hopes to recover more quickly from the corona crisis, which has left deep craters.
“I am delighted that Olivier Van den Bossche is returning to our Galeria and in this difficult competitive environment I cannot imagine a better department store expert with both international and sales expertise with whom we can manage this situation together,” said CEO Miguel Müllenbach.
Van den Bossche was indeed CEO of Inno between 2007 and 2014, after which he led parent company Galeria Kaufhof from 2014 to 2017. This was before the merger with Karstadt in 2018. Currently, Olivier van den Bossche is COO at Dutch cosmetics player Rituals.
Galeria 2.0 with a new team
Galeria has just gone through a reorganisation and relaunch, in full swing in 2020, but continues to struggle. For example, in April subsidiary Inno had to put staff on temporary unemployment because it was too quiet in the shops. Nevertheless, the department store group is investing in a Galeria 2.0 strategy and wants to continue doing so consistently and “at all levels”: “sales, digitalisation, logistics, processes”.
The management team is also being renewed. Current Sales Director Engelbert Thulfaut will from now on concentrate on rolling out the new store concept. There will also be a new head of e-commerce, Michael Drexler, who will be assisted by a strengthened online team. A new webshop should go live this summer.
“2022 will be another challenging year as we continue our daily business and roll-out in parallel despite the difficult political and economic market conditions,” Müllenbach concludes. “The strengthening of the staff is therefore another step in the right direction at the right time.”