Karstadt to Close Multimedia

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IKEA's launch into CE received so much interest that we should probably also report despite IKEA's new-found interest, one major mass market store will close its entertainment electronics department. Karstadt says it will abandon the CE department in its stores, promising to close all within the next 16 months.

KarstadtFinancial Times Deutschland reports Andrew Jennings, the new president at Karstadt is looking to reduce its product range.  That "look" started with the closure of their obvious choice, the multimedia department, while management apparently needs more time to review other less obvious choices. (The Book Dept. may be facing its final chapter and Fashion Dept. is reported to be slimming down under the Jennings review. But both have already survived longer than the decision to unplug the electronics department.)

Karstadt’s new CEO has the hottest seat in German retailing.  The 62-year-old Londoner (former executive director of Woolworths South Africa) faces the turnaround of one of the Germany’s biggest department store groups. And it only recently emerged from insolvency.

About 1.5 million people visit Karstadt stores each day...but the new CEO will cut out consumer electronics because it's a product category that it clearly cannot succeed in. That's either a statement about what's wrong with our industry or a statement about what's wrong at Karstadt.

Go Karstadt Closes Multimedia Department (in German)