Galeria wants to focus on the department store business in Germany

Galeria wants to concentrate on its department store business in Germany in the future and is preparing to sell its Belgian subsidiary Inno.

In the last few days, various media have reported on the planned Inno sale. It is now clear that the proceedings were initiated by the Essen department store group. Concrete negotiations about the sale of the Belgian retailer have not yet begun, Inno announced on Wednesday. Therefore, “everything will remain the same for the time being” for the employees, partners and customers of the 16 department stores and the online shop

“Inno is healthy and ready to go its own way,” said Inno CEO Armin Devender. “Our strategic repositioning over the last few years has hit the mark. In the 2021/2022 financial year, Inno achieved a positive EBITDA of over 10 million euros, and we are also heading for an excellent result for the past financial year.”

Inno was pledged to the federal government’s economic stabilization fund because of Galeria’s Corona-related difficulties, which have now been resolved. Therefore, the German state and not the Galeria owner Signa would benefit from a sale.

Galeria announced the plans to employees on Monday in a letter from CEO Olivier van den Bossche and CFO Guido Mager, which was available to FashionUnited. It says that, in addition to Inno, the sale of Hood Media, the company behind the online marketplace Hood, is also being prepared in order to focus “complete strength and attention” on the department store business in Germany. Significant investments such as those in the catering and food companies, which are managed by Peter Obeldobel, are to be retained and supplemented by further – including local – partners.

New area: Retail Media

In addition to this orientation, Galeria also wants to focus on the strategic area of ​​Retail Media in the future, which is dedicated to “communication options from shop windows to buildings to social media” to suppliers, but also new corporate customers, according to the employee. Letter.

In addition, the tourism business should also be promoted again. Galeria refers to the changes in the political framework for Chinese group travelers as well as the company’s adaptation to the pandemic-related changes in the tourism business.

Galeria wants to be in the black by 2024 with an adjusted branch portfolio

Due to the negotiations with the landlords and also the closure decisions in the protective shield procedure, Galeria was able to reduce many rents, according to Essen. The department store group now has a branch portfolio of which it is convinced that “almost all” of them will be able to be back in the black by 2024. Only a “handful of houses” of the existing 92 locations are currently not profitable.

To this end, Galeria is now relying more heavily on regional structures, for which the role of branch managers has been “significantly strengthened”. This is intended to make the locations more local and give “decisive impulses” to purchasing. For the first time, the individual department stores will be responsible for planning their medium-term economic development themselves.

This also applies to the locations in Lörrach and Goslar, which will next reopen on October 26th and November 2nd respectively as part of the modernization process.

With this new structure, the management is now heading into the next three months, in which, in addition to the Christmas business, campaigns for a six-day race and Black Week are also planned.

“After the restrictions of the last Christmas business, marketing, purchasing and sales have put together a program this time that we haven’t had in this form for a long time! We are sure that together we will exploit the full potential of better product availability, stronger marketing measures and a much stronger on-site presence!” says the letter to employees.