Here’s a look back at top Dutch retail news stories for August 2020 including De Bijenkorf Amsterdam closing due to Covid-19 outbreak, field of Hema prospective buyers narrows, select Brantano shoe stores taken over by German Deichmann group and more…
DE BIJENKORF AMSTERDAM COVID OUTBREAK
De Bijenkorf department store in Amsterdam was forced to close for 10 days due to a coronavirus outbreak among workers. The employees worked in different departments on different floors. It was recommended that anyone who had shopped at the store between August 4-18 should get tested. The store was allowed to reopen after just 3 days following a thorough cleaning and replacement of all staff members (who were required to quarantine for the full 10-day period) by a temporary crew made up of workers from other branches and the head office.
At the beginning of August, the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam implemented face masks requirements for specific shopping streets and indoor malls where the 1.5-meter distance was difficult to adhere to. This coming after a substantial increase in the number of Covid-19 cases during the month of July in both cities. The move was temporary in order to collect data as to its impact. The face mask requirement test ended on Monday August 31st. Officials will now evaluate whether the action had a positive effect on lowering infections.
HEMA + JUMBO
Hema products are now being sold in the Jumbo webshop. The assortment includes over 90 products. Jumbo continues to roll out Hema shop-in-shops in a number of its supermarket locations.
Speaking of Hema, the creditors which took over ownership of the company in June, are in the final process of reviewing bids from prospective buyers. Those still in the running are rumoured to be previous owner, Dutch billionaire Marcel Boekhoorn, the Van Eard family (owners of Jumbo supermarkets), investment group Parcom and two different community groups.
DEICHMANN TAKES OVER 43 BRANTANO STORES
German conglomerate Deichmann group have agreed to take over approximately 43 Brantano stores. The footwear chain was a division of bankrupt FNG and operated nearly 110 stores. The fate of the remaining stores and their employees is unknown currently. Deichmann will convert the 43 locations to the VanHaren nameplate. The move will substantially increase the number of VanHaren stores in the Belgian marketplace.
FACE MASK MANDATE AT DESIGNER OUTLET ROEMOND
Face masks are now required to be worn by all shoppers at the Designer Outlet Roemond. The move comes after employees at two retailers became infected with Covid-19. The center is also considering lowering the number of customers allowed at one time. The current 3,000-limit is a reduced level introduced in May to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
DUTCH BRAND DOWNSIZING
Dutch clothing brand, Van Gils, will be downsizing in the near future. The men’s business and formalwear maker has been hampered by both the coronavirus and the trend toward more casual clothing. Van Gils was established in 1948 and operates 4 own-retail stores in the Netherlands, plus several shop-in-shops within De Bijenkorf department stores. The company has said it will stop offering a seasonal wholesale collection to other retailers.
UNIQLO HAGUE STORE OPENING DATE
As previously mentioned in Netherlands Retail News: May 2020, Uniqlo is preparing to open its second store in the Netherlands in The Hague. The date has now been set… October 1st. The store will be located in the former Marks & Spencer space at the corner of Grote Marktstraat and Wagenstraat.
bol.com NOW IN FRENCH
As of Monday August 31st, bol.com is now selling to customers in the French-speaking portion of Belgium. The expansion was first announced last September but it has taken nearly a full year to come to fruition.