Breuninger fashion store in Reutlingen to close, signaling shift for City Center

news March 2024 SWR Aktuell

What: Breuninger fashion store in Reutlingen will close by the end of 2024 due to declining sales and visitor numbers.

Why it is important: This closure represents a significant change for Reutlingen's city center, emphasizing the ongoing challenges faced by brick-and-mortar retailers due to shifts towards online shopping and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights the need for adaptation and the search for new uses for traditional retail spaces.

Breuninger, a Stuttgart-based fashion company, announced the closure of its Reutlingen branch effective December 31, 2024, after over 25 years of operation. This decision comes as a result of consistently decreasing visitor numbers and sales, exacerbated by the rising trend of online shopping and the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Breuninger's managing director, Holger Blecker, expressed the difficulty of the decision and the company's intention to offer Reutlingen employees opportunities at other locations. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Reutlingen acknowledges the tough retail environment but sees the closure as an opportunity to redevelop the city center with new ideas. Breuninger is exploring various options for repurposing the space, potentially for mixed-use, including office, retail, leisure, or catering activities. Despite the immediate shock, there is optimism for revitalizing Reutlingen's market square following the department store's departure.


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