West Berlin’s “Ka-de-Wa” is a popular destination for shoppers, but beneath the surface of its luxurious exterior, it’s facing financial difficulties. The department store, owned by Cigna for the past decade, has been operating for over a century and is known as a symbol of Western European decadence and luxury. However, Cigna recently filed for bankruptcy due to specific business reasons such as rapid expansion, expensive financing, and mismanagement.
The situation has left vendors in limbo and many have stopped returning goods or ended contracts with Cigna. The fate of the department store remains uncertain as it struggles to survive in today’s economic climate. Germany’s dismal economic situation has contributed to this issue, with data showing that the German economy contracted by 0.5% in 2023. The extreme right and far-left parties are gaining strength in the polls, reflecting public unrest due to the economic situation.
The department store’s troubles also reflect broader issues facing Germany. It is not widely sold through the internet and is struggling to compete with online retailers after years of non-German economies recovering from the pandemic. Despite these challenges, there may be hope for “ca-de-va” if normal rent payments can be secured.