German department stores have lost ground in terms of attractiveness in a growingly com- petitive retail industry. Their concept is deemed to be static and outdated. Additionally, the attractiveness of central city locations has deteriorated, accelerating the conceptual decline of department stores. Once the magnets of inner city retailing, they have turned into eco- nomic and urban challenges. The challenge of department stores consists of four major is- sues to be addressed in this paper: low profile vis-‡-vis customers, lack of stringency in range of products, growing competition through more dynamic retailers and the desolation of the inner cities. The aim is to have a closer look at the factors determining success in retailing and to de- velop innovative concepts and viable strategies for department stores from the interdiscipli- nary perspective of real estate. The perspective shows two different focal points: a more conceptual component focusing on the department store (inside perspective) and a more co- operative component with regards to the surroundings of the inner city (outside perspec- tive). The purpose of this paper is to give a perspective for the conceptual redevelopment of department stores as well as to discuss whether the current use is a sustainable concept for the future.