The Oberpollinger History



The Oberpollinger around 1905



Historical sales area in 1930



Oberpollinger complete renovation in the 50s



The Oberpollinger 2008



The Oberpollinger at night 2010

Our History


14th April 1903

Construction begins on the lavish building that features a glass atrium and lifts for both customers and staff, setting new standards.

15th March 1905

The business-minded Hanseatic family Emden & Söhne charmed the people of Munich with the opening of their department store Oberpollinger. Customers and the press alike were thrilled with the luxury store, which the newspaper 'Münchner Neuesten Nachrichten' described as a breath of fresh air.

8th January 1927

Rudolph Karstadt acquired the Oberpollinger store for 3 million Reichsmark.

His business boomed as a result of his revolutionary business model - low prices and cash payments instead of haggling and credit notes.

1930s and 1940s

During the 1930s and 1940s, Adolf Hitler did everything to drive Germany's graceful department stores out of business. They were classed as 'capitalist profiteers without roots' in the National Socialist ideology and steps were taken to boycott stores and to drastically restrict their ability to trade.

January 1945

On the night of 7th January, the building burnt down as far as the basement and the public plundered anything that was left in the way of goods and stock. In the end, even the basement was set ablaze.


Around 600sqm retail area of the Oberpollinger is rebuilt on the Ground Floor.


A new epoch dawns in the store's history. The rebuilding of Oberpollinger is complete and the re-opening of the elegant, traditional store is celebrated. Approximately 2,000 employees are now employed in these new modern rooms and the range of products has increased tremendously compared to pre-war days. Oberpollinger is celebrated as a 'location for supplies to both town and region, providing quality goods at a low price'.


Munich presents its new pedestrian shopping zone to its international visitors just in time for the Olympic Games. This grand boulevard, situated between Marienplatz and Stachus is lined with historical buildings, fountains, cafes, restaurants and the facade of the historical Oberpollinger store.


Renovation work starts, including extensive modernisation plans. London architects Virgil & Stone create a visionary and open design to stamp this traditional store with an exclusive character and urban lifestyle appearance. The investment for this project is 80 million euros.


The Oberpollinger store´s new look provides "Shopping de Luxe" over 7 floors and 40,000sqm. Part of this fantastic premium retail area is taken by the Beauty Department with Beauty Lounges on the Ground Floor, a lingerie department on the 2nd Floor and a Restaurant Floor.



September 2007

Karstadt Oberpollinger becomes Oberpollinger and follows the example of the legendary flagship KaDeWe store in Berlin by aligning its entire product range to the luxury demands of its national and international client base - and also follows the new Karstadt Premium Stores style.

March 2008

Premium upgrade of the Fashion Department. On 27th March, the Premium store celebrates its new Fashion Location with three floors of womenswear, Menswear and lingerie.

Autumn 2008

Reorganisation of the Ground Floor to follow the KaDeWe style with its international luxury accessories and another Premium upgrade of the Beauty Department.

2 December 2008

The reopening of Oberpollinger, attended by press, VIPs, partners and friends of the establishment.

2 April 2009

In Berlin, the German Retail Federation nominates the best shops of the year for the title 'Store of the Year 2009.' The special prize goes to Oberpollinger, which has been described by the Federation (HDE) as 'a much-admired shopping haven, and one of the best and most modern department stores in Europe.' 

September 2010

Since September 2010, Nicolas Berggruen takes over Karstadt Department Store (Karstadt GmbH.) as an investor.


Starting in January 2014 Signa Holding GmbH assumes the majority of Karstadt Premium GmbH.


Since October 2014, the Karstadt Premium GmbH companies have been operating under the name "The KaDeWe Group" as part of SIGNA Retail GmbH.


Entry of the Central Group / La Rinascente as a strategic partner of the KaDeWe Group (with 50.1 percent).

From October 2016 onwards

The first step of the multi-year rebuilding phase of the Oberpollinger led by John Pawson is celebrated with the opening of the new Urban Wear Concept Store - The Storey.

Starting from November 2016

Reopening of the Home Department in the Oberpollinger, completely redesigned by British architect John Pawson.