Belgium’s Galleria Inno department stores to be sold
German department store Galeria Inno plans to leave Belgium, selling its 16 stores in an effort to pay off substantial debts the company has accumulated.
Owner Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof saw the 2022 financial year close with a profit, German media report, but the company is still in a precarious financial situation and must urgently pay off tens of millions of euros of debt.
A broader restructuring is also on the agenda.
Contributing factors include a lack of successful online sales and consequent loss of market share to new players, but a recent rise in those online sales has helped somewhat.
Nevertheless, the company is closing up shop in Belgium, with about 1,000 jobs under threat.
Some of the historic buildings in which shops are located, especially in Brussels and Charleroi, have a high market value that is expected to attract real estate investors.
Gilles Bourgoignie of Redevco Retail Belgium said that he had not yet received official confirmation of the intent to sell as reported in the German press.
“The decision of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, if confirmed, does not alter the current or future lease contracts with the current or future occupier,” he said.