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Published
Dec 12, 2013
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Germany's Karstadt appoints former Ikea manager to lead turnaround

By
Reuters
Published
Dec 12, 2013

Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt

FRANKFURT, Germany - German department store chain Karstadt has named a former Ikea manager as its new chief executive to restore the struggling group to profitability.

Swedish Eva-Lotta Sjostedt, who started her career as a fashion designer and was previously deputy global retail manager at Ikea, will take over at the chain on Feb. 24, Karstadt said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We must make Karstadt profitable quickly," Sjostedt said as she prepares to take over from Andrew Jennings, who is stepping down at the end of the year.

Karstadt was rescued from insolvency in 2010 by billionaire businessman Nicolas Berggruen, but he has come under fire from German unions and media for not investing enough in the chain, allowing rival Kaufhof, owned by Metro AG, to steal sales.

Karstadt and Kaufhof, with more than 100 outlets each, are two of Germany's best-known retail chains.

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