The Corona-lockdown has severely affected retail, as economic analysts show. Whether true or not, the Berlin department stores of Karstadt seemed to use the lockdown to explain its crisis when its planned closures made the news in October 2020. The debate after Karstadt’s announcement of closures on the need to save the department stores from disappearing was narrowly economic. The debate on its apparent causes – lockdown and home-shopping – appears scant, as if digitalization is something we just live with. So, when we can buy all that we need online – and much more as the Algorithm will propose whatever else we ‘need’ – why bother saving a department store? How may such stores and surrounding shopping streets matter for our social life? Does it matter all that much when, along with home-office, we’ll be doing more home shopping?
21. December 2020
Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland