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  • German Department Stores in Decline: Real Revenue Plummets by 34.8% Over 20 Years
  • Significant Drop in Employment and Sales Among Department Stores

Wiesbaden, Germany – The protracted crisis faced by department stores in Germany has manifested in substantially decreased sales and employment figures. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), in 2023, department and retail stores reported a real (price-adjusted) revenue decline of 34.8% compared to 2003, Destatis said Monday.

This downturn is nearly unparalleled in the brick-and-mortar retail sector, with only the bookstore industry experiencing a more pronounced drop.

In contrast, during the same period, the overall stationary retail sector saw an 11.3% increase in sales, while mail order and online retail surged by 170.1% in real terms. While 2022 saw a temporary recovery for department stores with a 13.1% year-over-year real revenue increase, 2023 witnessed a regression with a 3.9% decline from the previous year.

This analysis includes not only traditional department stores but also mixed retail outlets with a focus on non-food items. The significant reduction in revenue underscores the ongoing challenges faced by department stores in adapting to the rapidly evolving retail landscape and consumer preferences.

Furthermore, the employment rate in department stores decreased by 21.7% in 2023 compared to 2003, highlighting the broader impact of this downturn on the workforce. The sharp decline in both sales and employment figures illustrates the pressing need for these traditional retail outlets to innovate and redefine their business strategies in a fiercely competitive market dominated increasingly by online and digital platforms.

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By Silvia Orfeo

Silvia Orfeo is a Sr. Politics and Economics Reporter at Nobot.News

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