The Karstadt at the train station in Munich is scheduled to close at the end of the month. The department store therefore lures customers with discounts. © Oliver Bodmer
The closure of the Karstadt on Munich's Bahnhofplatz is planned for the end of June. But the works council is fighting and collecting signatures. A rally is planned for Wednesday.
Munich - Now it's getting serious: June 17 is the last day of sales at Karstadt am Bahnhofplatz, before the lights go out forever on June 30. "But there is still hope," says Eduard Wölbitsch. Because the head of the works council is now collecting signatures in the fight for the branch.
Bahnhofplatz Munich: Rally planned in front of the Karstadt
He has Change.org started the petition "Our department store must stay" on the website. Around 400 people had signed by the editorial deadline on Monday. And a rally is planned for Wednesday at the branch.
Eduard Wölbitsch collects signatures for the preservation of the Karstadt branch. © Oliver Bodmer
The shock news came in mid-March, when the company announced that 129 of 52 Karstadt stores would be closed by the end of January 2024. Some have been rescued in the meantime - but not those in Schützenstraße. In doing so, it works economically, explains Wölbitsch.
He says customers are sad about the planned shutdown. "That's why we're collecting signatures — so we can say we've done everything." Wölbitsch now hopes that many people will sign and thus set an example for the preservation.
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Opinions differ on the benefits of collecting signatures. After all, petitions do not oblige politicians to act. But they draw attention to a topic - and that's what Wölbitsch is all about. If Karstadt is not saved, the approximately 250 employees will be on the streets from July.
In the department store in Schützenstraße, the lights are to go out at the end of the month. © Oliver Bodmer
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Some of them have already protested in April. They believe that the preservation of their branch has never been seriously discussed. And they are angry with René Benko. His Signa Group had taken over the group in 2019 - and the house at the station also belongs to Signa.
Critics fear that she may have other, more lucrative plans for the property. And at the request of our newspaper, Signa confirms that the branch is to be closed.
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There are still talks about a possible Kartstadt rescue
But nothing is lost yet. Because there will be talks between Signa and state politicians this week, says Wölbitsch. Maybe Karstadt will be saved in the end.
Until this is certain, the department store lures with rich discounts. "Customers are fighting for the goods," says Wölbitsch. The battle for the last shirt - it's raging.