BERLIN — Bernd Beetz has been named to the supervisory board of Galeria Kaufhof, the German and Belgian department store chain owned by Hudson’s Bay Co. Inc.
At the next board meeting on June 6, the former Coty chief executive officer will also be proposed as chairman of the supervisory board, succeeding Wolfgang Link, who stepped down as board chairman as well as ceo of HBC Europe earlier this month. In further Galeria Kaufhof board changes, two seats formerly held by HBC representatives will be filled by two German executives: Hans-Dietrich Winkhaus, former Henkel chairman of the board and honorary president of the German Economics Institute, and Uwe-Ernst Bufe, former chairman of the board of Degussa and vice chairman of UBS Germany.
Beetz said he welcomed the opportunity to help “shape the strategy that will make Galeria Kaufhof successful again. For I firmly believe in the future viability of this department store chain so rich in tradition.”
Acquired by HBC in June 2015, Galeria Kaufhof has been in the process of restructuring that has yet to put the department store chain in the black. HBC did not break out figures, but industry sources suggest Galeria racked up losses of up to 100 million euros in the past fiscal year. Staff has been reduced in the chain’s 112 doors (96 in Germany and 16 in Belgium) and two stores are to be shuttered this year. Moreover, 400 of the 1,600 employees in Kaufhof’s Cologne headquarters are to be let go.
Nonetheless, just last month new Kaufhof ceo Roland Neuwald said the retailer will be out of the red by 2020. He said this will not only be the fruit of austerity measures, but via an omnichannel strengthening of Galeria Kaufhof as a brand, new partnerships with retailers such as Sephora and Topshop and the modernization of the chain’s branches.