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New umbrella brand for merged department store chainGaleria Karstadt Kaufhof

SIGNA Retail

The merger of department store chains Karstadt and Galeria Kaufhof was completed at the end of November 2018. This created one of Europe’s leading omnichannel retailers, with 243  established citycentre locations on the continent, revenue of around EUR 5 bn and about 32,000 employees.

The new company comprises Galeria Kaufhof GmbH, Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH, HBC Europe’s other retail businesses (Galeria Inno in Belgium and Hudson’s Bay in the Netherlands) and Karstadt Sports, as well as Karstadt and Galeria Kaufhof’s entire food and restaurant operations (Dinea, Galeria- Gourmet, Karstadt Feinkost and Le Buffet).SIGNA holds 50.01% of the joint venture and HBC 49.99%. SIGNA has also acquired a 50% stake in the German real estate assets of HBC and its partners, and has a 50% interest in a further 18 Galeria Kaufhof properties. It also fully owns Kaufhof’s flagship Hohe Strasse store in Cologne and Carsch-Haus in Düsseldorf, which it acquired in an arm’s length transaction at the start of 2019.

SIGNA is responsible for operational management of the new company. Karstadt and SIGNA Retail CEO Stephan Fanderl will head the group, with Karstadt CFO Miguel Müllenbach in charge of finance.

Just a few months after the merger, a new umbrella brand for the two chains has now been introduced. A new logo has been displayed at Karstadt and Galeria Kaufhof stores across Germany since the end of March 2019: Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof. The brand’s essence and promise: ‘We make shopping more enjoyable and life easier for our customers: in the city and beyond.’

Initially, the new brand will be showcased extensively on banners and posters, and in shop windows. This will be followed in the coming weeks and months by a campaign headlined ‘Together we’re yours’, which will feature in TV and radio ads, at in-store events, as well as online and on social media. The change in branding will be gradually rolled out to all branches by the summer.

The new brand’s colour scheme is based on the chains’ respective corporate designs – green is Galeria Kaufhof’s corporate colour, while blue has traditionally been associated with Karstadt. These colours merge into each other on the new logo, which also includes a handle symbolising a shopping bag.

The group’s CEO Stephan Fanderl explained: “Following the Karstadt- Kaufhof merger, everyone started asking whether the two companies would share a brand, and what it would look like. We’ve given this a lot of thought over the past few weeks and months. And during this process we paid very close attention to the opinions of our current and potential new customers.”
In-depth market analysis has shown that in many ways, customers have similar perceptions of Karstadt and Kaufhof, and differences in how the brands are seen tend to be more local.