The coronavirus continues to play havoc with retailers in the Netherlands; some have declared bankruptcy, some have received emergency loans, many stores remain closed but a few have re-opened their doors…
CORONAVIRUS FASHION STORE CLOSURE UPDATE
While supermarkets and DIY hardware stores were deemed essential and allowed to stay open when coronavirus restrictions were first introduced last month, fashion apparel and footwear retailers were categorized as non-essential. The latter group would need to take significant measures to ensure they could meet the guidelines set out by the government. Most had to close their physical stores, including the large international multi-chain businesses that have major investments in the Dutch high street, such as H&M GROUP (H&M, Weekday, Monki, COS), Inditex (Zara, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Bershka), Bestsellers (Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Vila, Pieces) and JD Sports (King of Trainers, AktieSport, Perry Sport).
5 weeks after the initial restrictions were put in place, the coronavirus situation here in the Netherlands is slowly starting to improve, with fewer new diagnosis and a decline in the number of hospital admissions. A handful of fashion retailers have begun to reopen their doors. They have, of course, needed to make physical alterations to meet the restrictions still in place. These include such changes as Plexiglas screens at cash wraps to separate cashiers and customers, plus widening of aisles to allow for social distancing of 1.5 meters between shoppers).
Danish group Bestsellers has been the first major to restart operations in the Netherlands having opened 104 ONLY stores, 50 Jack & Jones stores, 43 Vero Moda stores, 41 Vila stores, 17 Name It stores, 17 Pieces stores, 11 ONLY & Sons stores and 3 Jacqueline de Yong stores.
Dutch retailers that have re-opened some or all of their stores in April include ANWB, Bristol, G-Star, Scotch & Soda, SuitSupply, Van Haren, WE and Zeeman.
IKEA STORES TO REOPEN IN NETHERLANDS
Speaking of store re-openings from coronavirus shutdowns… the 13 IKEA stores in the Netherlands will be open starting April 28th, the day after King’s Day, Dutch beauty chain ICI Paris XL staggered store reopenings with some going on April 20th and the remainder on April 28th, the Netherlands’ only true department store De Bijenkorf reopens its 7 stores on April 29th.
NELSON STORE OPENING IN GRONINGEN
The Nelson footwear chain footwear chain opened it biggest store in the Netherlands earlier in April. The 2-level shop in Groningen sells men’s, women’s and children’s shoes. Grand opening festivities have been postponed until coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
BOOKSPOT TAKEN OVER BY AUDEX
Bookspot, the Utrecht book seller has been taken over by the Audax Group, owner of multiple book franchise formulas in the Netherlands (AKO, Bruna, The Read Shop). Bookspot will become an online-only platform.
…& other stories TO OPEN STORE IN THE HAGUE
Good news for shoppers in The Hague. The Hennes&Maurits Group is getting ready to debut another of its divisions in the city. The former Sissy-Boy shop on Venestraat is currently undergoing renovation to prep for…& other stories. This will be the third location for the retailer after Amsterdam and Utrecht. Other H&M Group brands with stores in The Hague include H&M, COS, Monki and Weekday.