Department stores like Kaufhof, Karstadt and Hertie once were the powerhouses of German city centers. From the late 70s through to the end of the 90s the department stores had been the go-to place for shoppers. By the early 00s the decline of the department store began with growing competition by flagship stores, fashion chains and finally online shopping. This is a tribute to the monumental architecture of these temples of commerce.
Above: Karstadt Goslar, 1976
This department store has been on the brink of closure several times in the past years. Currently still in operation, but who knows how long. It features a pretty unique concrete relief surface with a tribal vibe.
Above: Kaufhof Coburg, 1973
Dubbed “the bunker” by locals, this department store is still in business today.
Above: Karstadt Kaiserslautern, 1975
The elevated pedestrian level on which this department store had been built has recently been demolished. The 70s department store building has been incorporated into a new mall, built in 2013.
Above: Karstadt Braunschweig, 1978
designed by architect Gottfried Böhm, a hero of the brutalist architecture movement.
Above: Karstadt Gummersbach
After the department store closed in 2020, the building has been turned into a mall with mostly low-key stores.
Above: Karstadt Hamburg Eimsbüttel