Bonn also affected Saks Off 5th to close all branches in Germany

ESSEN/BONN · After just about two years in Germany, the high-end outlet chain Saks Off 5th is closing all its branches in Germany. The store in Bonn will also close.

The high-end outlet chain Saks Off 5th will close all six stores in Germany just two years after its launch. The stores in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Wiesbaden and Bonn "will not be continued and closed on June 30, 2019", according to a letter from the Saks Off 5th Europe management to its business partners. The letter was made available to the German Press Agency (dpa). A number of media had already reported on the closures.

The outlet chain, which belongs to the Kaufhof group, was launched in the summer of 2016 with high expectations. Originally, up to 40 branches of the luxury goods outlet were to be opened. But the format turned out to be much less attractive than had been hoped. The new head of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, Stephan Fanderl, decided to address the problem following the merger of the department store chains Kaufhof and Karstadt.

According to dpa information, most of the former Saks branches are to become Karstadt sports stores. This, however, does not apply to the branches in Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, a spokeswoman for the Verdi union reported. She said that negotiations on a severance plan for employees were already underway in Stuttgart. In Düsseldorf there are plans to convert the Carsch-Haus, which currently houses the Saks store, into a new location for the KaDeWe department store chain. But this would probably require major conversion work.

Despite the closings, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof intends to stick to its high-growth outlet concept despite the closures. In the future, bargains will be offered under the label "dress-for-less" in small spaces in existing department stores. The first test runs of this new concept are scheduled to begin this month. In selecting its brands, the group intends to focus on its regular customers in the future - with more mainstream and fewer luxury products.

(Orig. text: dpa; Translation: ck)

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