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Shopping street

Department stores can be found in a few malls and on several high streets in the Ruhr Metropolis. The local department store landscape was once far more varied. Neglected facades, lack of investment and dated interior design led to a decline in popularity. With consumer tastes constantly in flux and online sales ravaging high streets in Germany too, closures and mergers continue to reshape inner city landscapes.

At the time of writing, all that remains of this once magnificent idea is a dozen or so of former Kaufhof and Karstadt stores, which have merged into one entity known as Galeria.

This style of shopping has seemingly passed its peak despite repeated attempts to adapt. Restructuring and a rebranding concept to attract clientele will reveal how popular they remain to local residents and expats across the Ruhr region.

By Vincent Green, Aug 5 2021

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof GmbH
Theodor-Althoff-Str. 2
45133 Essen

Theodor-Althoff-Strasse 2
45133 Essen

+49 6103 313 4444

Written text on paper


We stand in a foreign culture finding ourselves pointing, gesticulating and hoping to be understood. Many Germans speak at least some English. However, some expats relocating to the Ruhr Metropolis may wish to carry a few basic but helpful words with them for use in awkward moments.

Subway station


The public transport system in Ruhr is extensive, safe and normally efficient. A dense network of trams above and below ground as well as buses serve the cities and suburbs. Links via the local and S-Bahn train systems interconnect many neighbouring communities.

The city guide for expats

Amazing Capitals Ruhr is a fresh and informative location guide full of insights for expats. Dedicated to helping international professionals make choices, settle and participate in the Ruhr Metropolis, the vast powerhouse of the state of North-Rhine Westphalia.