Swiss mass-market distribution group Migros has successfully sold its department store chain Globus and its 48 Swiss branches to a joint-venture company between Austrian distribution group Signa and Thailand-based Central Group. This deal marks another major acquisition for Signa and Central Group, who already own prominent department stores such as KaDeWe in Germany, La Rinascente in Italy, and Illum in Denmark.

Founded in 1907 and acquired by Migros in 1997, Globus will now be controlled by the joint-venture company, along with eight properties located in key Swiss cities. Migros is committed to maintaining Globus as a Swiss brand and plans to bolster its presence in the luxury and premium segments through strategic investments.

The sale is expected to be finalized by mid-2020, pending approval from the European Union’s competition authorities. Vittorio Radice, CEO of Central Group Europe, expressed optimism about the future of Globus under the joint-venture company’s ownership, citing their access to international luxury labels and expertise from their ownership of other renowned department stores. The new shareholders are prepared to make significant investments in both the existing Globus branches and the Globus brand itself to secure its long-term financial success. They are also committed to preserving the local identity of each location, despite the joint-venture company operating in multiple countries.

Central Group initially entered the European market in 2011 with the acquisition of Italian department store La Rinascente, followed by the purchase of Danish chain Illum in 2013 and KaDeWe, Oberpollinger, and Alsterhaus in 2015. These acquisitions have greatly contributed to Central Group’s revenue growth, which is expected to reach an estimated €2 billion in 2020, up from €200 million before their European expansion.

The department store sector in Switzerland is experiencing significant activity. Manor group, owned by Maus Frères, recently announced a reorganization plan that includes closing several branches and implementing a job protection plan for around 80 employees.

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