It comes as no surprise that Joachim Schröder, Karstadt’s former director for sporting goods, who passed away on Nov. 10, was the second European (after Adi Dassler) to make it into the Hall of Fame of NSGA, the U.S. industry federation. He was responsible for bringing over American brands, which were little known in Europe at the time, and giving them shelf space in Karstadt’s department and specialty stores.
The executive saw himself as a bridge-builder between different continents and markets and enhanced the attractiveness of the chain’s assortment in the process.
His approach helped the retailer to become, back in the 1990ies, a popular point of sale for German sports fans.
Schröder understood from an early stage that successful retailing requires a certain degree of specialization in different categories. He masterminded the development of Karstadt Sports specialty stores and Golf House in which Karstadt held a majority stake. After he retired in 2002, Schröder continued to support Golf House as an adviser.