Negotiations with landlords and union representatives are ongoing, but 62 out of 172 department stores, all in Germany, are likely to close, along with two discount stores, where excess stock is sold at lower prices. If things do not go well — for example, if ongoing talks about rents falter — then as many as 80 stores could close. The decision was the result of an agreement on Friday between local unions and Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof management. The union involved, Verdi, said as many as 6,000 of a total of 28,000 staff could lose their jobs. If more stores close, that number could rise to 10,000. The parties have agreed to form what is known in German labour law as a transfer company, which supports those who have been made redundant in their search for new employment.