In 1946, when warm clothing was almost impossible to come by, Otto Scheck tailored his first winter sports collection from old military stocks in Munich and in so doing laid the foundation for the SportScheck company. After attending business school, Otto’s son Klaus Scheck joined the company in 1958. In 1965, he took over as SportScheck’s managing director, helping tennis and skiing, in particular, become mainstream sports in Germany in this role.

In 1988 SportScheck was acquired by the Otto Group, initially in the form of company shares and then completely in 1991.

In the 1970s one of the first artificial indoor climbing walls (possibly the first ever) was built in the stairwell of SportScheck’s Munich headquarters on Sendlinger Strasse. It was made of natural stone and designed by Reinhold Messner. When the company moved to Neuhauser Straße in 2016, its headquarters and the climbing wall were abandoned.

SportScheck is now represented both in brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce with around 1,150 employees in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The product range contains upwards of 35,000 products from more than 500 brands.

In its 17 city-centre stores, the company receives some 13 million visitors each year. SportScheck also organises sporting events with a total of 120,000 entrants annually, including Germany’s largest series of city races.

In December 2019 Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof concluded a contract with the Otto Group for the acquisition of SportScheck and all its subsidiaries. Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof will thus strengthen its position in this important growth market and become a market leader in omnichannel sports retailing.


Thomas Wanke

Thomas Wanke

Thomas Wanke, born in 1961, was appointed Chief Executive Office of SportScheck and Karstadt Sports in March 2020. In this position he is responsible for the 52 sports shops (30 of them are Karstadt Sports shops) as well as for the online business of SportScheck and Karstadt Sports.  Prior to this, he has been Chief Sales Officer of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof since July 2019. Since October 2017 he has already been CEO of Karstadt Sports. He held the position of Chief Retail Sales Officer of Karstadt Warenhaus from mid of 2013 to September 2017. He has an in-depth knowledge of the fashion market. In his positions at P&C, Adler Modemärkte and Charles Vögele he also gained expertise in the field of home textiles. His focus has always laid in the development of sales, especially in the improvement of sales and service orientation as well as the increase of employee motivation.