Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof to close 62 stores

30/06/2020

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Christa Reicher

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Karstadt-Kaufhof plans to close 22 stores in NRW. This affects not only employees but also the landlords: Experts fear that only one shopping city will survive in NRW.

 

For city planner Christa Reicher, department stores are "always also city building blocks". And because of their size, such buildings cannot easily be rededicated for other functions, says the professor at RWTH Aachen University. "What we need are new usage concepts for city centres that are no longer oriented solely towards retail.

Offices are probably not always the solution either, because even after the corona pandemic, more and more people are allowed to work at home, at least partially. "I would like to see us bring more living back into the inner cities." Of course, this would not be easy to achieve in exposed retail locations, especially on the ground floor. These areas could be used in a mixed form with trade, services and culture, while people could live above.

The chair holder refers here to the example of the former Hertie department store in Lünen, which was converted into a residential and commercial building. And she reports on the Aspern district of Vienna, where innovative retail concepts are being tried out. There, she says, there is the first "managed shopping street".

A company as general tenant rents the space in one part of the shopping street, coordinates the uses and then passes the business premises on to operators. "This is a coordinated model that can react much more flexibly to changes in space requirements and usage," says Reicher.