Germany’s Arcandor has filed for bankruptcy protection after the German government rejected a request for loan guarantees.
The company owns Karstadt department stores, the mainstay of German high streets, and employees who face an uncertain future have started a petition to help save their jobs. Frankfurt shoppers were sympathetic. One said: “At the moment we shouldn’t be surprised about anything. We expecting and waiting for some enterprises to close. When shops close that’s a big problem. There are other stores ..but things look bad when one chain closes its doors.” Another said: “ It is bad news we have come to this. The German government doesn’t seem to want to do anything to help.” Arcandor, which employs about 70,000 people, had sought 650m euros of guarantees from the government. Arcandor owns the travel giant Thomas Cook, along with Primondo mail-order and Quelle catalogue businesses Arcandor also sells financial products and athletic equipment 50,000 of its employees are based in Germany Thomas Cook moved quickly to reassure its customers that they would not be affected by the problems at Arcandor. The holiday operator said it was “completely ring-fenced” from Arcandor. A spokesman for Thomas Cook said: “ “We’ve been around for 167 years and will be for many more.”