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Karstadt Supervisory Board resolves extensive redevelopment and restructuring concept and discusses advanced concept for the future

Dr Stephan Fanderl appointed as new CEO of the company. Wolfram Keil takes over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH.

Essen, 23 October 2014. In its meeting on 23 October 2014, the Supervisory Board of Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH resolved the company’s redevelopment and restructuring (project “Focus”) and extensively discussed its strategy for the future.

Furthermore, it resolved the composition and reorganisation of its management. Dr Stephan Fanderl is the new CEO of Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH. The Supervisory Board appointed the retail manager Fanderl (51) at its meeting in Essen on Thursday.

Fanderl had been the Chairman of Karstadt’s Supervisory Board since 1 October 2013. He is succeeded in this position by Wolfram Keil, who has been a board member since September 2014. The seat on the Supervisory Board vacated by Dr Stephan Fanderl’s move to management will be taken by Jörg Schwengel from the SIGNA Group.

The management team of Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH now consists of the following persons: Dr Stephan Fanderl as the new CEO, Miguel Müllenbach as Chief Finance Officer and “Arbeitsdirektor” (Director of Labour Relations), Jörg-Peter Schmiddem as Chief Merchandise Officer (“Einkaufschef”) and Thomas Wanke as Chief Retail Officer Sales (“Vetriebschef”).

Wolfram Keil, the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board: “In Stephan Fanderl, we have secured one of the most profound experts on the German retail landscape as our CEO. We are also delighted to have Miguel Müllenbach’s long-term commitment to the company. He has demonstrated a very high level of personal and professional dedication in recent months, for which we owe him our particular thanks.”

The discussion of and the resolution on the comprehensive redevelopment and restructuring was urgently needed from a business perspective. The redevelopment and restructuring concept presented to the Supervisory Board consists of three pillars: earnings increases, measures to sustainably reduce staff and non-staff operating costs, and structural measures to improve the profitability of the store portfolio.

Following a thorough review and intensive analysis of the earnings situation and competitive prospects, the stores in Hamburg Billstedt and Stuttgart will be closed on 30 June 2015. The two “K-Towns” in Göttingen and Cologne will also be closed on 30 June 2015 in addition to the “Schnäppchen Center” in Frankfurt/Oder on 30 April 2015 and Paderborn on 30 September 2015.

Dr Stephan Fanderl: “The redevelopment will demand a lot of us. Without these decisions, some of which are very painful, such as the store closures, it will not be possible to ensure the survival of the company as a whole. At the same time, all efforts must be geared towards becoming operationally better and to improving store profitability.”

“But in just a very short time we have also devised a concept for the future with our new shareholder, according to which we will redefine the strategic direction of the company after its successful redevelopment,” said Fanderl. Some of these new department store formats will be launching as early as spring/summer. Furthermore, all processes in the company will be optimised and adjusted.

Keil: “We are just at the beginning of a long process. Karstadt is on the verge of a fundamental and comprehensive transformation – the redevelopment and the concept for the future depend on each other. Either one is unthinkable without the other. With the right concept, the reorganised management team and with the support of our staff, we will turn the company around.”

All plans will now be discussed and negotiated with the employee representative bodies of Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH and the ver.di union in the prescribed processes to strike the right balance between social compatibility and the company’s capacity to survive as a business.