Revitalisation of inner city department stores

  Photo Warehouse © Lambertus, iPE  

Stationary retail is increasingly under economic pressure due to the steadily growing online trade (e-commerce). The sales and market shares of the large German department stores' chains have been declining since the beginning of the 21st century. Business closures and location closures of both smaller retail spaces and larger retail chains are causing an increasing vacancy rate in city centres. Various examples in connection with the insolvency of the Hertie department stores' chain in 2009 show how suburban and medium-sized centres in particular are struggling with the problems of vacancy.

Due to the characteristic architecture of many department stores, re-letting or conversion is often difficult. In the context of revitalising a department store, the local potential and project risks are weighed up together with the municipality, private investors and project developers. Based on this, recommendations for action are derived for sustainable utilisation concepts, subsequent uses and neighbourhood developments.