The long-time director in charge of sporting goods at Karstadt, the German department store chain, died unexpectedly on Nov. 10. Joachim Schröder was the mastermind behind the development of the specialty format Karstadt Sports which counted, at the end of his career, 29 doors. He left the group in 2002 for health reasons.
During his years at the top of the sports category at Karstadt, Schröder was committed to the development of specialty retail channels including Golf House of which Karstadt used to hold the majority. The group divested the specialty golf retailer in 2005 and sold it to private equity investor Arques in 2005 when the then ailing KarstadtQuelle group was dismembered.
Three years before that, when Schröder left, the estimated turnover of Karstadt in the sports category was estimated to be €820 million (excluding the Quelle mail-order retail business).
VDS, the German federation of sporting goods retailers, says that Schröder launched his career at a sporting goods store in Hamburg before he became a buyer at Karstadt in 1978. He was promoted to director for sporting goods and toys in 1991. In the 1970ies he helped, as a deputy store manager to develop the first specialty Karstadt Sports store in Recklinghausen, a city in the Ruhr basin.
Joachim Schröder died unexpectedly on Nov. 10 at the age of 65.