Clearcut at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof

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There is a clear cut at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof: management and employee representatives have agreed on a social plan. Thereafter, at least 62 branches of Kaufhof and Karstadt will be closed, 110 will remain. Various locations are affected, including apparently several branches in Berlin and Hamburg, in Munich at Stachus, in the Olympia shopping center and at Nordbad; branches in Dortmund, Frankfurt Zeil, Cologne-Weiden, Nuremberg-Langwasser, Essen, Ingolstadt, Iserlohn and Mannheim. Up to 6,000 full-time jobs are to be cut, which affects around 7,500 employees who are being dismissed. A transfer company is to be founded for them. The department store group will continue to employ 25,000 people.

In addition to the department stores, around 20 Karstadt Sports stores are slated to close; also 100 of the 130 travel agencies. The conditions of the collective agreement concluded at the end of 2019 should apply to them. Its validity was lifted with the initiation of a self-administered protective shield procedure in early April. The administrator Frank Kebekus and the general representative Arndt Geiwitz have agreed on this with the Verdi trade union and the general works council. As the Southgerman newspaper learned from several people familiar with the operation, the agreement is subject to the proviso that the remaining landlords cut rents.

The amount of the rent reduction also depends on the business success of the respective branch. If landlords refuse, the agreement stipulates that further branches will be closed. The bankruptcy plan is to be presented to the Creditors’ Committee next Monday. If he should not agree, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof would have to go into regular bankruptcy. The creditors would then have to expect the conditions to deteriorate further. The former CEO Stefan Fanderl is also said to be affected by the protective shield procedure, the departure of which was surprisingly announced last week: he would not receive any severance payment due to the protective shield procedure.

In the negotiations, Kebekus and Geiwitz initially threatened to close 80 branches and cut ten percent of the workforce. The Verdi union claims that management has cut an additional ten percent of the jobs in the negotiations that started on Monday.

Another requirement for a final agreement is the consent of the partner. Like some of the department store properties, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is owned by the Signa holding company of the Austrian property investor René Benko. However, his consent is a matter of form, he had used Kebekus and Geiwitz.

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At least 62 branches of Kaufhof and Karstadt will be closed. These include locations in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, but also in many smaller cities. The closures affect around 7,500 employees.

Michael Kläsgen

There is a clear cut at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof: management and employee representatives have agreed on a social plan. Thereafter, at least 62 branches of Kaufhof and Karstadt will be closed, 110 will remain. Various locations are affected, including apparently several branches in Berlin and Hamburg, in Munich at Stachus, in the Olympia shopping center and at Nordbad; branches in Dortmund, Frankfurt Zeil, Cologne-Weiden, Nuremberg-Langwasser, Essen, Ingolstadt, Iserlohn and Mannheim. Up to 6,000 full-time jobs are to be cut, which affects around 7,500 employees who are being dismissed. A transfer company is to be founded for them. The department store group will continue to employ 25,000 people.

In addition to the department stores, around 20 Karstadt Sports stores are slated to close; also 100 of the 130 travel agencies. The conditions of the collective agreement concluded at the end of 2019 should apply to them. Its validity was lifted with the initiation of a self-administered protective shield procedure in early April. The administrator Frank Kebekus and the general representative Arndt Geiwitz have agreed on this with the Verdi trade union and the general works council. As the Southgerman newspaper learned from several people familiar with the operation, the agreement is subject to the proviso that the remaining landlords cut rents.

The amount of the rent reduction also depends on the business success of the respective branch. If landlords refuse, the agreement stipulates that further branches will be closed. The bankruptcy plan is to be presented to the Creditors’ Committee next Monday. If he should not agree, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof would have to go into regular bankruptcy. The creditors would then have to expect the conditions to deteriorate further. The former CEO Stefan Fanderl is also said to be affected by the protective shield procedure, the departure of which was surprisingly announced last week: he would not receive any severance payment due to the protective shield procedure.

In the negotiations, Kebekus and Geiwitz initially threatened to close 80 branches and cut ten percent of the workforce. The Verdi union claims that management has cut an additional ten percent of the jobs in the negotiations that started on Monday.

Another requirement for a final agreement is the consent of the partner. Like some of the department store properties, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is owned by the Signa holding company of the Austrian property investor René Benko. However, his consent is a matter of form, he had used Kebekus and Geiwitz.

The Internet service provider Wirecard plunges into a deep crisis. The examiners refuse to testify and the share price falls. How did that happen?

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