Karstadt Quelle AG History

Theodor-Althoff-Strasse 2

Telephone: 49-20-17271
Fax: 49-20-1727-5216

Public Company
Incorporated: 1920 as Rudolph Karstadt AG
Employees: 104,536
Sales:EUR 15.8 billion ($16.56 billion) (2002)
Stock Exchanges:German
Ticker Symbol:KAR
NAIC:452110 Department Stores; 454110 Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses; 561510 Travel Agencies; 561520 Tour Operators

Company Perspectives:

If you do not try to get better, you have stopped being good. That is the principle that Karstadt Quelle is committed to. Our customers, shareholders, and the public have a right to expect a great sense of responsibility and above-average service in the areas of environmental protections, social policy, and professional organizations. We are continuously trying to meet those expectations with top performances--for the benefit of all.

Key Dates:

Rudolph Karstadt launches eponymous store.
Theodor Althoff opens his first store.
Rudolph Karstadt and Theodore Althoff merge operations and form Rudolph Karstadt AG.
Karstadt launches EPA Einheitspreis AG.
Gustav Schickedanz founds Quelle.
Restructuring of Karstadt.
First Quelle department store opens.
Quelle launches NORIS Bank GmbH (later Quelle Bank).
Karstadt fully reacquires EPA Einheitspreis AG--now called Kepa Kaufhaus GmbH (Kepa).
Karstadt purchases stake in Neckermann Versand.
Quelle opens new mail-order center in Leipzig.
Karstadt merges with Hertie Waren & Kaufhaus GmbH.
Schickedanz purchases 20 percent stake in Karstadt.
Karstadt creates C&N Touristic with Lufthansa.
Karstadt purchases Quelle from Schickedanz and becomes Karstadt Quelle.
Karstadt Quelle purchases Thomas Cook.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Cole, Deborah, "Berlin Reopens Beloved Symbol of Consumer Freedom," Reuters Business Report, September 24, 1996.
  • Dauer, Ulrike, and Angela Cullen, "Retailing: Karstadt Discusses Joining Forces with Schickedanz," Wall Street Journal Europe, April 20, 1999.
  • Demain, Beth, "Karstadt Quelle Unveils New Strategy, But Skeptical Investors Aren't Buying," Wall Street Journal Europe, October 18, 2000.
  • Doran, Patricia, "Konig Karstadt," Sporting Goods Business, August 1994, p. 56.
  • Fallon, James, "Confirm Karstadt to Acquire Hertie Department Stores; Deal Worth $1.6 Billion," Daily News Record, November 16, 1993, p. 10.
  • Fessenden, Helen, "Lufthansa-Karstadt Venture Praised But Cartel Issue Looms," Dow Jones International News, September 18, 1997.
  • Gilardi, John, "German Retail Unions Stage More Strike Actions," Reuters, May 30, 1995.
  • Grete Schickedanz: Ein Leben für die Quelle, Fürth, Quelle, 1986.
  • Karstadt Magazin: Jubiläumsausgabe, 1881-1981, Essen: Karstadt AG, 1981.
  • "Karstadt Reports Loss," Wall Street Journal Europe, August 29, 2000.
  • "A Little Online Shopping but with a European Flair," PCWeek, January 20, 1997, p. 115.
  • Pentz, Michelle, "Teleshopping Gets a Tryout in Europe," Wall Street Journal, September 9, 1996.
  • Miller, Marjorie, "Unions Seeing Red As German Blue Laws Ease," Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1994, p. 2A.
  • Prada, Paulo, "Field Thins Out After Deal by C+N for Thomas Cook," Wall Street Journal Europe, December 8, 2000.
  • Rohwedder, Cacilie, "Karstadt Agrees to Acquire Retailer Hertie," Wall Street Journal Europe, November 12, 1993.
  • Spahr, Wolfgang, "Merger Causes Alarm in Germany; Retailers Told to Sell Some Music Outlets," Billboard, March 19, 1994, pp. 49, 50.
  • "West German Shops; Geschlossen," Economist, March 1, 1986, pp. 67-68.
  • Whitney, Craig R. "Comfortable Germans, Slow to Change (Especially If It Means More Work)," New York Times, January 16, 1995, p. 6A.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 57. St. James Press, 2004.