Exactly how the consortium formed by NRDC and BB Kapital AG of German businessman Bernd Beetz imagines the future of the Karstadt Kaufhof Gallery can be seen in the documents that FOCUS was able to consult online. However, nothing is known about the purchase price of the acquisition.

The branches will become a kind of mega shopping center in which several companies will be able to rent spaces. Therefore, the acquisition may have had less to do with the amount of investment and more to do with maintaining the branches. According to media reports, Ikea is planning a corresponding partnership. Apparently, planning offices and a “small market” will be built in the branches. Talks are “very advanced,” a source confirmed. The newspaper “Bild” also confirms the plans.

Customers should also be able to order furniture, which will then be delivered to collection points, directly to the customer or to IKEA furniture stores. According to a source, there are also talks with a hardware store chain. Companies should set up at a low cost and at the same time participate in the corresponding investments and renovations.

It's no secret that Ikea is planning planning offices in cities in Germany. “We are proud of our 54 large furniture stores in Germany. But we have also been testing smaller formats for about three years,” says the director of Ikea Germany, Walter Kadnar. “We have been so successful that we now continue in this direction. “We want planning studies like this throughout Germany.”

Galería employees can breathe a sigh of relief because the classic department store will still be alive. But the focus is on the shopping experience. Clients should be able to book specific consultation appointments based on the American model. Hair salons, nail salons, restaurants and packaging stations will be integrated into the format.

Closing list has not yet been determined

According to media reports, the new owners want to maintain around 70 branches. According to bankruptcy administrator Stefan Denkhaus, the potential buyers signed the corresponding agreement. However, the acquisition is not yet closed. Two important dates remain pending: the former bankruptcy administrator Stefan Denkhaus must submit an insolvency plan to the district court in Essen.

If the court approves the plans, the insolvency plan will be presented to creditors at a meeting in Essen. On May 28 it will be seen if the consortium will be able to take over the Galería stores. The signs of this are good. The Gallery has already been renovated twice, loss-making branches have been closed and the austerity program has come into force in many areas. An insider also says: “Accounts are currently full.” Galeria does not have to pay sales taxes during the bankruptcy proceedings and the staffing agency pays employees' salaries. In addition, Easter business has gone “very well” in all branches.

By April 30 at the latest it should be clear whether the insolvency plan includes the closure of branches. FOCUS online has a list of ten branches that the new owners apparently can't take over. Apparently, the complex business network of Signa's insolvent owner, René Benko, is to blame. Part of this then goes through another bankruptcy administrator.

A merger seems unlikely. Affected branches include Aachen, Freiburg, Hannover, Mannheim, Münster, Stuttgart, Trier, Ulm and Würzburg. This cannot be confirmed. “It's a dynamic process,” says one well-informed expert. “Only when the sale is finally finalized will it become clear exactly what happens next.”

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