Location of affected unit(s)
Retail Trade, Except Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles
Retail Sale Via Stalls And Markets Or Other
47.91 - Retail sale via mail order houses or via Internet

3,000 - 4,000 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
20 October 2009
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date
1 November 2009


In June 2009, the German retailer Arcandor filed for insolvency after Berlin decided not to provide an emergency loan or credit. The group was in difficulties long before the recession. Since, the future of Quelle, Arcandor's mail-order business held by Primondo Group, and Karstadt, the department store chain, has been in public focus.

Quelle received a EUR 50 million emergeny loan to continue operations in fall, but on 20 October the insolvency administrator said talks with "a number of investors" had failed after no bank could be found to provide so-called factoring services - which help mail-order companies bridge the gap between billing customers and receiving payments. FT comments that that decision marked the end of Arcandor's hopes to re-emerge from bankruptcy proceedings largely intact - a feat that would have set an important precedent for Germany's recently revised insolvency laws,

In August, the administrator announced plans to cut 3700 out of 10.500 jobs at Primondo-Group. 3100 of these job cuts are already enacted, according to FAZ information. On 20 October the administrator said that another 3,000 to 4000 jobs will be cut. Precise figures cannot be given at the moment.

On 30 October, the trade union representative said that 2000 persons are off the payroll as soon as 1 November 2009 - 1240 Quelle employees and 820 persons working in related service companies. Hopes are that the remaining workforce will stay for some time in case certain units find new investors. However, "any figures are very fragile and may not be vaild the next day", the trade union spokesman said (FAZ) 

The administrator will continue looking for buyers for Primondo's foreign units, as well as its German home-shopping channel HSE 24. Both would make "solid and reliable business partners", he said, according to FT.


  • 21 October 2009: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • 29 October 2009: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • 21 October 2009: Handelsblatt
  • : (www.ft.com)


Eurofound (2009), Quelle, Bankruptcy in Germany, factsheet number 69728, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/69728.