Esprit, Media-Markt-Saturn, Douglas: nationwide, more and more retail chains are cutting their branch networks together.
That doesn't mean anything good for shopping streets and shopping centers.
Düsseldorf - For years, large retail chains such as Douglas, Esprit and Media-Markt-Saturn have dominated the German city center.
But now there is a threat of deep cuts.
Because of the corona pandemic and the triumph of online retail, numerous retail chains are radically cutting their branch networks together.
This is tearing ever larger gaps in city centers and shopping centers.
How serious the situation is was only shown again on Wednesday (March 31).
Germany's largest electronics retailer Media-Markt-Saturn wants to close 13 of its 419 stores in this country by autumn 2022, and up to 1,000 employees have to leave.
This was explained by the company's management in Germany in a letter to employees.
Media-Markt-Saturn: Corona pandemic accelerates online retail
The management justified the cuts.
More and more customers did their shopping on the Internet.
Most recently, more than half of the electronics retailer's sales were made online in Germany, reported a company spokesman.
This forces the company to adjust the number and size of the stationary stores to the new circumstances.
"Against this background, from the management's point of view, it is unavoidable to close 13 of the currently 419 stores in Germany," the letter said.
After careful analysis, the affected branches could not be operated economically in the long term.
Douglas: Perfumery chain is cutting every seventh branch
The red pen also rules with other retailers.
Germany's largest perfumery chain Douglas wants to close almost every seventh branch in the Federal Republic.
With the end of around 60 of the more than 430 branches in the Federal Republic of Germany, the group is also reacting to the ever faster shifting of sales to the Internet, explained Douglas boss Tina Müller.
Around 600 of the more than 5,200 employees in the German branches lose their jobs as a result.
Douglas - like Media-Markt-Saturn - is one of the companies that have so far managed the leap into online retail and the corona crisis comparatively well.
Many other chains, whether Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, Esprit or Gerry Weber, had to thin out their branch network considerably last year, some of them as part of insolvency proceedings.
And numerous other closings are likely to follow.
At least that's what many experts believe.
Institute for retail research: Corona accelerates structural change
As a result of the pandemic, structural change in retail has accelerated by around seven to eight years, according to a current study by the Cologne Institute for Retail Research (IFH).
Online growth and business tasks in the shopping streets are therefore currently taking place with unprecedented dynamism.
"Up to a fifth of stationary stores will have to close their doors by 2023 - that is, up to 80,000 stores," the Cologne scientists forecast.
The German Trade Association (HDE) even fears the end for up to 120,000 stores.
Study: clothing retailers are hit particularly hard by the crisis
The textile trade is one of the hardest hit. According to a current study by the management consultancy KPMG and the retail research institute EHI, half of all fashion in Germany should be bought online by 2030. This would double the market share of online retailers - with corresponding consequences for city centers.
Industry experts therefore assume that the inner cities will change their face dramatically in the next few years.
Where the fashion trade, jewelry stores, electronics markets and perfumeries still dominate today, a new diversity could move in.
In view of the growing online trade, a new mix of shopping, living, services, trade, culture, leisure and education will be necessary in the future, says the managing director of the German Trade Association (HDE) Stefan Genth is convinced.
“The model of the inner city is far from obsolete,” he says.
"But it will look different."
(Dpa / utz)
List of rubric lists: © Photo: Michael Westermann via www.imago-images.de