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Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof closes stores: Karstadt closing in Bonn a blow to employees

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof closes stores : Karstadt closing in Bonn a blow to employees

The planned department store closures at Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof will leave deep scars in the Rhineland. The closing of Karstadt in Bonn city center will be a big blow to the approximate 120 employees.

"For us it was a shock that we first had to digest," says Therese Thrun. The chairwoman of the Karstadt works council in Bonn spoke for around 120 employees. Most of them had not expected Karstadt Bonn to be closed down. "Some have been with us for over 40 years," says Thrun. The news is especially bitter for the older employees.

Mayor Ashok Sridharan (CDU) also expressed his regret at the planned closure of Karstadt in Bonn. "I very much hope that the employees will find something else quickly in our labor market in the region", he said. "Due to the excellent location on Münsterplatz, I am confident that it will also be possible to find a successor that is attractive for the city in terms of urban development and will stimulate the inner city. The city will play an active role in this process, also because we are the owner of that land.” The city did not disclose the concrete possibilities for the location when asked.

According to previous information, the Karstadt building on Bonn's Poststrasse between the train station and Münsterplatz belongs to Aachener Grundvermögen Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft, which primarily invests the assets of the Catholic Church. The company could not be reached yesterday for comment. Apparently there is a lease with Karstadt until 2026. In industry circles it is considered conceivable that in the future only the lower floors will be rented to retailers and office space will be created on the upper floors. Until the takeover by Karstadt in 1994, the location belonged to Hertie.

"I cannot imagine a vacancy in this building", says Jannis Vassiliou, chair of the Retail Association Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Euskirchen. He added that with the absence of Karstadt, Bonn would be missing an important crowd-puller that brought people into the city center for shopping. "We need such anchor stores like that and for that reason are happy about Primark at the central station", said Vassiliou. He continues to see good opportunities for GaleriaKaufhof at Münsterplatz: "The location is ideal and the store is at one of the best locations of the Group nationwide", the association chairman continued.

Relief in Siegburg

Still, he sees difficult times ahead for retail trade in the region in the wake of the corona crisis. "The industry will have to fight," says Vassiliou. He expects to see the closing of another major retail store at the end of the year, but would not give a name. "Retail is the heart of the city center," Vassiliou appealed. "We must do everything we can to keep the city centers alive.”

While Bonn regrets the news of the Karstadt closure, Siegburg is relieved. The Kaufhof store in the city center is not affected by the closings. "We are delighted that Kaufhof and its appeal will remain with us and that we will be able to plan retail activities with and around it in the future. The decision in Cologne brings to us, especially the Kaufhof employees in Siegburg, a sigh of relief", said Mayor Franz Huhn.

Orig. text: Delphine Sachsenröder

Translation: ck