It was a success story.
One that began in 1966 and that, from Garmisch-Partenkirchner's point of view, could have continued.
It turned out differently.
The high-turnover department store X on Hauptstrasse went under with the entire Oexle Group and closed its doors forever 20 years ago.
The Oexle Group's application for insolvency came “completely out of the blue” for the employees in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
In department store X there was the first escalator between Munich and Innsbruck in the 1960s.
A number of former X employees still meet today.
- It was a pretty "bitter funeral feast".
One who cost the managing director Amin Shalaby and his 36 employees a lot of energy.
The X department store, which Garmisch-Partenkirchen had supplied with an almost complete range of products on around 2800 square meters of retail space since 1966, closed its doors forever in 2001.
It died even though Shalaby thought it was viable.
After he was confronted “out of the blue” with the group's bankruptcy application on September 22nd, 2000, he tried to continue the “X” on his own.
The concept, financing and the name - Werdenfels department store - were in place.
But he could not come to an agreement with the house owners, a community of heirs.
Mainly because of the necessary renovation costs in the millions.
And so Shalaby and his colleagues, of whom only around a quarter had initially found a new job, had to bury their beloved job.
Oexle Group had annual sales of 105 million D-Marks
Like them, 333 other employees at Kaufhaus X GmbH & Co. KG were doing. The brothers Georg and Ludwig Oexle founded the first department store in Memmingen in Upper Swabia in 1955. Further stores followed in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg - and even in South Tyrol. The total sales area was a good 25,000 square meters, and the group recorded an annual turnover of 105 million D-Marks. The company may have taken over and opened too many locations in the meantime. In 2000 an application had to be made to open insolvency proceedings.
Brigitte Scherer was directly affected by this.
The woman from Grainau, then 46 years old, had worked in the toy department for 31 years after completing her apprenticeship at Spielwaren Heinz on Bahnhofstrasse.
"It's depressing," she said on the last day.
The look at the empty shelves made her sad.
She and her colleagues had not expected that the department store, which had been posting good sales to the end, would not continue.
“Actually, I always thought that I would stay here until I retired.” It turned out differently.
In 1993, Wolfgang Oexle (left) honored Walter Glas for his 25 years of loyalty to the company.
Walter Glas experienced the last day at home in Oberau. The 86-year-old had long since retired. “But I was very sorry that it couldn't go on.” His connection to the “X” finally continued. Born in Bamberg, he came to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1968 and, at the insistence of his future wife, gave up his position as head decorator at the Reutten department store Saurer and started in the newly opened shopping paradise in Werdenfelser Land. “I was responsible for everything that had to do with advertising, and I took care of all the craftsmen,” explains Glas. Seven shop windows had to be designed, two apprentices and in the high season five to six young people were available to him in good times. His claim, the decoration on the local scene,Coordinating big sporting events or anniversaries and other events, he was able to fulfill so well. And especially for the Irmengard students - “they always stood in awe” - the dwarf parade and Christmas trees on the canopy during Advent.
Walter Glas was happy to design shop windows with a local reference.
The staging of the make-up box was a welcome occasion for this, as was anniversaries and sporting events.
He quickly realized that the "X" was something special. A full-range supplier that had everything from groceries and clothing to the most expensive china, drills and, at times, skis and bicycles. "It was also the first department store between Munich and Innsbruck that had an escalator," says the man from Oberau. At the opening, he knows from stories, people stood in line to drive. The house was popular, with annual sales of twelve million D-Marks attesting to this. Just like the constant flow of goods, "every day we got a full railroad car delivered". And the plans to enlarge the sales area again, which had been expanded by around a third in the early 1970s - "then we had ten shop windows". The plan to build around the corner on the town hall parking lot,was discarded because of the difference in altitude and the kanker flowing underneath. The idea of moving to the previous location of the Hotel Alpenhof, where the casino is now located, also ended up in the drawer. Nevertheless, "the people in the district accepted the 'X' very well," says Glas. “You could see our blue bags everywhere.” The restaurant, which employees from the surrounding banks and the local court liked to visit, was also extremely popular. "A big magnet, especially for the Partenkirchen district" is what Glas calls the department store, in which more than 100 people were initially employed.X 'was very well received, ”says Glas. “You could see our blue bags everywhere.” The restaurant, which employees from the surrounding banks and the local court liked to visit, was also extremely popular. "A big magnet, especially for the Partenkirchen district" is what Glas calls the department store, in which more than 100 people were initially employed.X 'was very well received, ”says Glas. “You could see our blue bags everywhere.” The restaurant, which employees from the surrounding banks and the local court liked to visit, was also extremely popular. "A big magnet, especially for the Partenkirchen district" is what Glas calls the department store, in which more than 100 people were initially employed.
Raffles and other campaigns have always lured customers to department store X, to Amin Shalaby's (left) delight.
“The store has boomed,” confirms Scherer. Especially in the 1970s and 80s. And then especially on Austrian public holidays. “You couldn't even get to the parking lot.” The Grainau resident, who like almost all colleagues found a new job after the closure, has fond memories of the years in the “X”. “My customers were of course the best,” she says with a wink. Many of the children who received new toys from her later came back with their own offspring. A bond that she fondly thinks back to. Just like the "great togetherness" with colleagues. The 67-year-old still meets with quite a few of them today. After a long period of abstinence due to corona, a regulars' table was on the program again on Friday.
The former “X” employees must have thought of the sad end of the actually flourishing department store. This was rung in, says Glas, because of the enormous expansion plans of the Oexles. The sons of the company's founders “couldn't handle it any more”. Most recently, only Garmisch-Partenkirchen recorded a plus. That is certainly one of the reasons why it was the house in which the lights last went out.