German department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof may close up to half of its stores and cut 5,000 jobs in the wake of the coronacrisis. However, the move proves quite controversial, with fears of abuse looming.
“Abusing the crisis”
'GKK' is thinking about severing 80 of its 170 stores, German sources say: this would mean 5,000 jobs would be lost as well. The group reported its turnover took a direct hit from corona, with turnover dropping at least 500 million euros - possibly even a billion euros if the restart is not fast enough. The company filed for insolvency last month, which means the company must publish a restructuring plan before then end of June. That plan would be more severe than analysts expected, if the press leaks are indeed correct.
The trade unions are furious: "It looks like management and owner abuse the corona crisis to push through their original plans to close stores and cut jobs", they say. Such measures had already been expected when the merger deal was struck in 2018, but owner René Benko has always denied these allegations.
Last week, GKK's Belgian branch Galeria Inno already confirmed to our editors that problems on other markets would have no consequences for the Belgian branch - for now.