Germany: KaDeWe announces insolvency proceedings and Paul Smith closes stores

While London’s Paul Smith will close its three branches in Germany at the end of January, the KaDeWe department store group has announced insolvency proceedings. It had posted very good sales in 2022-23. But very high rents and the poor health of its co-owner, Austrian Signa, led to its downfall.


In a Germany in recession (-0.3% in 2023), life is no longer so good for luxury goods.

In the space of a few days, we’ve just received two pieces of bad news for the sector. On January 29, insolvency proceedings were announced for the KaDeWe Group. This group comprises three iconic department stores focused on luxury shopping: the famous KaDeWe department store in Berlin, the Alsterhaus in Hamburg and the Oberpollinger in Munich.

The previous week, Paul Smith announced that it would be closing its three directly-operated stores in Germany at the end of January, in Berlin (on Potsdamer Strasse), Hamburg and Munich. When the British fashion house entered this market in 2014, it still offered good prospects. But the current tense economic situation has prompted the fashion label to turn back.

Co-owner Signa in bankruptcy

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Featured Photo: © KaDeWe

Picture of Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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