The French luxury department store Galeries Lafayette will close its Berlin location to customers at the end of July, several months earlier than previously announced. A spokeswoman for the group confirmed this upon request. Previously, the “B.Z.” reported.

The business will close on July 31 so that it can be handed over to the owner by the end of the year as announced, the spokeswoman said. According to the media report, employees were informed about the closure at a staff meeting. The company did not comment on this when asked.

190 employees affected by closure

Galeries Lafayette announced in October last year that it would close its only branch in Germany on Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse at the end of 2024. The rental agreement with the property owner Tishman Speyer will not be renewed, it was said. 190 employees are affected.

The glass palace that Galeries Lafayette moved into at the end of February 1996 was designed by the architect Jean Nouvel. Hundreds of people stood in line on Friedrichstrasse for the opening of the gallery. Next to the KaDeWe in the west of Berlin, it is still the most famous luxury department store in the capital.

The closure plans do not come as a surprise. It has been known for a long time that the rental agreement expires at the end of this year. According to its own statements, Galeries Lafayette had tried for a long time to negotiate an extension of the contract with the owner.