Another major name in German retailing is out of money and out of time.
Mail order company Neckermann said it was insolvent and applying for bankruptcy protection from its creditors.
The end came after its private equity owner refused to stump up the cash to pay off workers as part of a restructuring.
Neckermann said it was looking at all options to keep the business going, but the 2,400 workers are not hopeful.
One man said: “That’s the end. I’m 60 and I won’t get another job”
A woman worker expressed the feelings in the company: “We were extremely shocked, my legs are still shaking, because we didn’t expect this at all.”
This comes just after German department store group Karstadt said it will cut 2,000 jobs – eight percent its workforce by the end of 2014 and on the heels of the insolvency of chain Schlecker.
Retailers from Metro to Praktiker and Puma grapple with lower consumer spending in Europe
Their woes demonstrates that Europe’s economic slowdown is having an effect even in relatively protected Germany.
Separately, the public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart and police in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg have said they had searched 22 properties, including houses belonging to Schlecker family members, as part of an investigation into fraud and delayed reporting of insolvency at Schlecker.
The Schlecker insolvency administrator said the company was cooperating and that such investigations were not out of the ordinary occurrences for collapsed firms.
The failure of the chain has wiped out the fortune of the Schleckers, once one of Germany’s wealthiest families.