31 January 2024
The Weekly

The KaDeWe Group management was forced to apply at the Berlin Charlottenburg district court for insolvency proceedings under self-administration. The application has already been granted. The existing management team led by Michael Peterseim will remain in office and continue to run the business. All three department stores will of course remain open, and operations will continue unchanged. For all employees covered by collective wage agreements, the payment of salaries, including any possible allowances, is guaranteed at their previous level by the insolvency benefit from the Federal.


Michael Peterseim, CEO of the KaDeWe Group: ‘The aim is to protect the KaDeWe Group. We are leaving old burdens behind us and, above all, liberating our stores from high rental burdens. Operationally, we are doing an outstanding job. All stores are recording rising sales even in difficult economic times, which is a strong performance. However, the index-linked rents are disproportionately high, they are not in line with the market - and are set to rise further. Numerous discussions with the landlord have not changed this, nor, unfortunately, have the insolvencies at SIGNA.’


The KaDeWe Group recorded the strongest sales year in the company's history in 2022/23. At almost €728mn, sales were almost 24% higher than in the pre-corona year 2018/19. This means that the business is clearly profitable ‘before rent’ - but clearly not ‘after rent’. The exorbitantly high rents in Berlin (KaDeWe), Hamburg (Alsterhaus) and Munich (Oberpollinger) make it almost impossible to operate profitably in the long term. Rents have risen by almost 37% compared to the 2018/19 financial year. They are set to rise further in the coming years.


Michael Peterseim said ‘There is no question that the group can have a strong future with normal rents. All stores are icons of their cities and of luxury. Their market position is unique.’