Galeria Kaufhof

Galeria Kaufhof GmbH is the management company of the department stores operated by METRO GROUP. These department stores are mostly located in city centres – above all in prime inner-city locations.

With its lifestyle and event-orientated Galeria concept, the company is an innovation leader among German department stores who successfully combines tradition and innovation. Galeria Kaufhof is a synonym for a comprehensive range of premium products, international brands, a matching product presentation and employees who are eager to serve their customers. These are the key success factors of this company whose history began 1879 in Stralsund.

In figures

Galeria Kaufhof
Locations 1
Number of countries 1
Sales 2 €3.1 bn
EBIT before special item 2
€193 m
Headcount (full-time equivalents) 2

1 Status 30/06/2015
2 Status 30/09/2014

The company

In 1879, the young merchant Leonhard Tietz opened a small textile shop in Stralsund, thereby laying the foundation for Kaufhof. On a selling space of 25 square metres, he sold yarns, buttons, cloth and woollens. His business philosophy was based on a simple idea: quality at fixed prices and only against cash. In 1897, he relocated the head office of his company to Cologne. Starting from there, a store chain was created. In 1905, Tietz was the first German department store owner to convert his firm into a stock corporation. After his death in 1914, his eldest son, Alfred Leonhard Tietz, took over.

From a regional department store to a Germany-wide department store operator

In the National Socialist era, the Jewish owner family was expropriated and Leonhard Tietz AG converted to "Westdeutsche Kaufhof Aktiengesellschaft". The Tietz family emigrated and was indemnified later. In World War II, 35 of the then existing 40 department stores were destroyed. After the German currency reform and reconstruction phase, the company expanded. With the extension of the store network, the company was transformed from a regional department store chain into a Germany-wide department store operator. In 1953, "Westdeutsche Kaufhof AG" became "Kaufhof AG". In 1989, "Kaufhof Holding AG" was founded as the controlling company; the operating department store business was spun off into "Kaufhof Warenhaus AG". In 1994, Kaufhof acquired the major shareholding in Horten AG. Horten's Galeria concept was modified and, from 1995, implemented in the department stores as the Galeria Kaufhof concept, and developed further. Horten's operating business was merged with Galeria Kaufhof. In 1996, Kaufhof Holding AG was merged to METRO AG und Galeria Kaufhof became a sales brand within the Group. The Galeria department stores very soon became the drivers of the company's business development. Since the late 1990s, Galeria Kaufhof has also been operating the sales format Sportarena. The service company Dinea, which operates the restaurants in the department stores, was added to the portfolio in 2009.

The shopping experience in Belgium

In April 2001, Kaufhof took over Inno S.A. – the sole department store operator in Belgium. It was founded more than 100 years ago and offers fashion and lifestyle in all cities. By 2004, all Inno stores had been successfully converted to "Galeria Inno". Galeria Inno focuses on the assortment categories of ladies' wear and menswear, children's wear, linen goods, accessories and jewellery as well as household goods. The company regularly improved its market share, sales and earnings performance. Its successful market position is based on a continuous assortment optimisation. Galeria Inno has positioned itself as a "House of Brands" with fashionable, ultra-modern national and international labels.

The business concept

For 135 years, the Galeria Kaufhof sales division has enjoyed the confidence of its customers and is the market leader amongst department stores in Germany and Belgium. It has created a market niche for itself as a modern brand in the retail industry and as a competent multichannel retailer with a unique profile. Its department stores stock a high quality, international range of goods. These include well-known brand names as well as high-performing own labels. Most of the department stores, with selling spaces ranging from 5000 to 35,000 m², are to be found in prime inner city locations.

Convenient payment methods thanks to ultra-modern technology

To enable customers to pay in a convenient and fast manner, Galeria Kaufhof invested in 2013 in around 3500 highly modern card payment terminals for their branches in Germany. Contactless payments are now possible here: with MasterCard’s PayPass credit card, Visa’s payWave credit card and also with NFC-capable mobile phones. Payment transactions can be completed within seconds. NFC is the abbreviation for Near Field Communication. With the aid of this technology, data can be sent and shared safely over short distances without making actual contact.

Holistic multichannel approach

Today, customers want to find the Galeria Kaufhof brand on all channels: when shopping in the high street, at home, or when they’re out and about. Galeria Kaufhof aims to be a leading department store with a multichannel approach. For this reason, the department store company combines the best of the virtual world with the best of the bricks and mortar world: customers can make use of offers and services wherever they like. This network provides customers with real added value. The mobile shop started up in 2013, enabling customers to order goods conveniently via smartphone. And the expansion is set to continue: as of summer 2014, sales talk and advice will be complemented by the use of tablets in the department stores. This enables branches to offer products which have either been sold out or which do not form part of their normal range of products. Products can either be dispatched to the home address of the customer or delivered to their local branch. For this innovative service, some 1100 ElitePads made by Hewlett Packard will be deployed throughout all branches, allowing direct access to stock from all branches as well as from These products can then be ordered and paid for immediately in the branch. Product availability on is being expanded continually.

A successful creative partnership

Galeria Kaufhof has enjoyed a successful cooperation with the internationally renowned fashion designer Wolfgang Joop since 2010. His designs range from elegant evening dresses to jewellery to accessories such as bags. Last summer, the Galeria Kaufhof creative team worked together with Wolfgang Joop to design the “Alpine Couture” national dress, which the star designer created for the 2013 Oktoberfest.

Payback – an efficacious instrument for customer loyalty

Galeria Kaufhof is working full speed ahead to transform the successful Payback scheme from a simple bonus system into a comprehensive, integrated customer loyalty programme. More than seven million Payback members are regular customers of Galeria Kaufhof. Besides attractive offers, customers can trade in their points in any branch for shopping vouchers. Card owners also benefit from further exclusive advantages, such as receiving the latest news on sales, innovative products and trends from the various product worlds, as well as being invited to branch events.

Screenshot Online Shop

Galeria Kaufhof – the online shop

Shop around the clock at Galeria Kaufhof online for high-quality ladies’, men’s and children's fashions, toys, watches and jewellery, perfumes and cosmetics, wine, and a comprehensive range of household goods. Delivery to your local branch or your home.

Go to

External View at Night

Search for store

Find your nearest Galeria Kaufhof or get an overview of the distribution of department stores in a particular country.

Find Galeria Kaufhof