Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 13:02 UK

7,000 jobs go as Quelle goes bust

Empty shelves at a warehouse of Quelle
Quelle is set to continue business outside Germany

After 82 years of trading, mail-order and catalogue firm Quelle is to close in Germany with the loss of 7,000 jobs.

Efforts to sell the firm, which is owned by retailer Arcandor, have collapsed, according to administrators.

Services union Verdi says that although all workers at Quelle in Germany will lose their jobs, activities in central and eastern Europe will continue.

Arcandor, which also owns the Karstadt department store, filed for bankruptcy protection in June.

German authorities later granted Quelle a 50m-euro ($75m; £46m) credit line to keep the business afloat.

Quelle tried to restructure its activities but its 2007/08 sales of nearly 2bn euros came in far behind the market leader Otto.

The mail-order firm's fragile financial situation meant it was not able to find a partner willing to guarantee deals from suppliers.

Attention will now turn to the fate of Arcandor's loss-making department store chain Karstadt.

Hopes of a tie-up with German retail giant Metro were dampened last week when Metro announced that it did not need to add Karstadt to its line of Kaufhof stores.

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