German department store chain shuts 40% of outlets

German department store chain shuts 40% of outlets

Germany’s last major department store chain aims to close two-fifths of its branches, months after it filed for insolvency protection for the second time in less than three years, the company’s employee council said Monday.

The long-troubled Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof plans to shut 52 of its current 129 stores, the council said. It added that the move would cost more than 5,000 jobs, German news agency dpa reported.

The company, which resulted from the merger a few years ago of rivals Karstadt and Kaufhof, sought protection from creditors in late October, citing a steep rise in energy prices and weak consumer spending.

It had already shut around 40 stores and cut some 4,000 jobs after seeking protection during the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, and reportedly was granted 680 million euros ($724 million) in state aid.

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