Germany’s last large department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is reinventing itself and is also shedding its old name.
With the new “Galeria” logo, the retail giant, which still shapes many inner cities with its 131 department stores, wants to get back on its feet after difficult times. “We want to become the networked heart of the city center,” Galeria boss Miguel Müllenbach told the German press agency on Tuesday.
To this end, the group intends to thoroughly remodel the outdated branches and the online shop in the coming years. He wants to take a total of 600 million euros in hand for this. Up to 60 houses are to be completely rebuilt, the rest at least partially. But the online shop, IT and logistics are also to be upgraded.
“With our expensive downtown locations, we cannot be the price leader, but we can offer a special shopping experience – with selected products and a high quality of stay,” said Müllenbach. The retail giant has already converted three department stores into pilot branches, which will allow a glimpse into the future from Wednesday.
Example Frankfurt: The Galeria department store on Hauptwache is supposed to show how the chain can hold its own in metropolises against the competition from online retailers and branded stores. An important catchphrase there is “more premium” – on offer, but also around it. A champagne bar and a bar on the roof terrace with a view of the Frankfurt skyline should ensure more fun shopping.
The shop in Kassel, on the other hand, is supposed to be a “regional magnet” model for shops in somewhat smaller cities. There, the retail giant wants to specifically enrich the range of goods with services in order to better hold its own against Amazon. In the future there will be a branch office of the city administration in the department store, where identity cards can be applied for or picked up. Regional products are offered on the ground floor. In the multi-storey car park, you should soon be able to have your bike repaired.
The branch in Kleve on the Dutch border is to act as a “local forum” model for smaller Galeria stores all over Germany. According to Müllenbach, the main thing there is to respond more to local needs. (dpa / rs)