Germany's Praktiker may lose 4,000 jobs after insolvency - report

BERLIN Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:05pm IST

Clouds are pictured above the German do-it-yourself retailer Praktiker in Berlin July 11, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Clouds are pictured above the German do-it-yourself retailer Praktiker in Berlin July 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

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BERLIN (Reuters) - As many as 4,000 jobs could be lost at German home improvement retailer Praktiker (PRAG.DE) and its Max Bahr chain following insolvency filings, Bild reported on Saturday, citing the group's deputy board chairman.

"That's a shocking number," the newspaper quoted deputy supervisory board chairman Ulrich Kruse as saying.

About a dozen Praktiker stores could shortly be closed, mainly shops that were about to be converted to the Max Bahr brand which traditionally had better profit margins, Wirtschaftswoche reported, without citing the source of the information.

Praktiker said on July 25 that its Max Bahr unit would file for insolvency after a trade credit insurer, named by unions as Coface (CNAT.PA), stopped providing coverage to suppliers.

Praktiker, whose blue and yellow-branded stores selling paints, tools and gardening products are a familiar sight in Germany's out-of-town shopping centres, has been grappling with a decline in sales and profitability since it ended a "20 percent off everything" discount strategy.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by David Holmes)

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