Germany’s Legendary KaDeWe Stores File for Insolvency

<p>KaDeWe, a historic bastion of elegance in Berlin, faces a tumultuous
chapter as it succumbs to the harsh reality of insolvency. The venerable
department store, a beacon of sophistication since 1907, grapples with soaring
rental prices that threaten its very existence.</p><p>Rising Tides: KaDeWe's Financial Struggles</p><p>In a sad statement, <a href="">German retail
legend</a> KaDeWe bowed to the crushing weight of "exorbitantly high
rents" in Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, cities where it manages its
hallowed emporiums. Despite recording a historic surge in sales, the relentless
ascent of rental prices has rendered profitability a distant dream, rents "make
it almost impossible to operate profitably in the long term", KaDeWe said
in a statement.</p><p>While revenues soared by 24 percent compared to pre-COVID 2018-2019,
rents skyrocketed by an alarming 37 percent, outpacing any semblance of
financial sustainability. CEO Michael Peterseim lamented the untenable
situation, citing the imperative need for reasonable rents to ensure KaDeWe's
enduring legacy, "There is no question that the group can have a strong
future with normal rents," he said.</p><blockquote><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The collapse of Rene Benko’s real estate empire is spreading to his luxury retail assets, with department store operator KaDeWe Group filing for insolvency in Berlin <a href=""></a></p>— Bloomberg (@business) <a href="">January 29, 2024</a></blockquote><p>A Legacy at Risk: KaDeWe's Iconic Status</p><p>Once frequented by luminaries like David Bowie, KaDeWe stands as a
symbol of cultural reverence and refined taste. Its allure transcends borders,
immortalized in German television dramas that capture the essence of its
storied halls.</p><p>Majority-owned by Thailand's Central Group, KaDeWe finds itself entangled
in a web of financial woes. The specter of insolvency looms large, exacerbated
by the struggles of Signa, the Austrian real estate giant grappling with its
own <a href="">bankruptcy</a> woes.</p><p>The Road Ahead: Uncertain Horizons</p><p>As Signa endeavors to divest its assets, including New York's iconic
Chrysler Building, KaDeWe finds itself at a crossroads of uncertainty. Despite
efforts to negotiate affordable rents, the once-mighty institution faces an
uphill battle in preserving its historic grandeur.</p>

This article was written by Louis Parks at

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