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Karstadt enhances purchasing clout

“Integrated procurement areas gaining responsibility”

As part of its ongoing successful restructuring, Karstadt is enhancing its purchasing clout by significantly strengthening the competence of its key product areas.
As Jörg Peter Schmiddem, Chief Merchandise Officer of Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH, says: “Having become much more efficient in the past 12 months and gained considerably greater proximity to our customers, we now aim to strengthen further the competences of our core procurement areas. This will make us even leaner and faster, with our purchasers gaining responsibility.”

A significant step is the discontinuation of the model of merchandise planning introduced during the time of the previous owner Berggruen that resulted in Purchasing losing end-to-end responsibility for stocks. “From now on we will work with integrated procurement areas with congruent competences and responsibilities,” continues Schmiddem. “Merchandise planning therefore plays an important role – but lies in the responsibility of the individual Lead Category Manager (LCM). This integration that has proven its worth on the German market will enable us to strengthen the responsibility of Purchasing at Karstadt again.”

In a further step, Purchasing is to be structured in such a way as in future to consist of clearly defined areas that are homogeneous in terms of products and managed in a uniform manner by a Lead Category Manager. As previously with the restructuring of Sales, each LCM will be put directly in charge of a product category. “We wish to see corporate responsibility and a focus on service in all areas of Karstadt today,” explains Schmiddem. “This step will enable managers in Purchasing and Sales to work on a par with each other.”

Specifically, this means the following:
The ladies wear, menswear, children’s clothing and own brand areas will be subsumed under the leadership of the LCM Fashion. “Fashion is Karstadt’s largest product category. We still have a great deal of potential here – for instance through the significant overhaul and expansion of the own brand business. We therefore need a strong focus and are bringing the four fashion areas together under the leadership of Patrick Diederen who until now has successfully managed menswear,” says Schmiddem.
Kerstin Fleischer (LCM Personality) will remain responsible for watches/jewellery, beauty/hosiery, bags, accessories and shoes while also taking over linens.
Britta Kowald-Meinke (LCM Home) will remain in charge of bathroom accessories, bedding and kitchenware and additionally take over responsibility for stationery.
Marcus Fischer (LCM Import/Outlet) will continue to be responsible for imports and will in future also take on Sport and strategic purchasing projects.
Robert Okon will remain in charge of strategic supplier management.

“Purchasing at Karstadt is further developing its product range strategy in close cooperation with Sales and Marketing in order to further strengthen those product groups that are particularly important for Karstadt,” says Schmiddem. “We have worked hard for four months analysing it and planning the further development. The new and more effective organisation does justice to this process.”