German mail-order and catalogue business Quelle is being closed down by the administrator appointed to sort out its owner, the insolvent retailer Arcandor.
The administrator explained Quelle’s financial situation was so fragile that no company could be found that would guarantee payments to suppliers.
One industry expert said Quelle had relied too heavily on catalogue sales and failed to integrate its online business properly.
Arcandor filed for insolvency in June after its request for state aid was rejected.
Up to 10,500 people could lose their jobs as Quelle stops trading after 82 years:
One worker said: “We are essentially already laid off. We will work until January and then: out!”
Another complained: “What I cannot bring myself to believe is that there is not a single investor, not a single company that has the courage to carry on the business. So much know-how (at Quelle) is just being wasted.”
Staff unions said they believe the company’s activities in central and eastern Europe will continue.
The administrator is still trying to find a buyer for Arcandor’s Karstadt department stores, but the main prospect, German retail giant Metro, is no longer interested.