Bonn/Cologne The fate for Karstadt’s Bonn branch is sealed: The department store group has terminated the lease with Aachener Grund. The staff must leave by October 31st.
The termination of the rental contract for the Karstadt building in Bonn was apparently only received by the owner Aachener Grund on Wednesday afternoon. This finally seals the end of the location. According to its own statements, the real estate company had last offered a 20-year lease at a rent reduced by more than half in order to keep the traditional department store in Bonn.
In addition, Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan, together with the Bonn City Council, had reduced the site lease by a third, which Aachener Grund has to pay to the city each year as land rent. This has not changed the decision of the department store group.
Verdi secretary Jana Zorn said that the employees had received the notices on Wednesday. This means they must leave the company by October 31st. The company management had also informed the mayors of the cities in which branches are being closed that these stores could no longer be saved, the trade magazine "Textilwirtschaft" reported.
This concerns 50 stores, including not only Bonn but also Karstadt in Gummersbach, the former Kaufhof stores in Brühl and the Rhein-Center in Cologne-Weiden as well as Karstadt Sports in Cologne's Schildergasse. Originally, the department store group, which belongs to the Austrian Signa Group, wanted to close 80 of its 172 stores. Following concessions by the landlords, this number was reduced to 50. Among other things, one branch in Leverkusen will remain.
The employees of Karstadt Sports have been particularly hard hit, as union secretary Zorn reports. Because of a lack of assets, only 500,000 Euro is available here for severance payments. 20 branches with a total of 600 to 700 employees, including 39 in Cologne, will be closed. According to the report, employees would receive an average of 800 Euro, possibly only around 715 Euro. Allegedly there is no transfer company for sufficient funds.