Here are some of the biggest Dutch retail news stories and brand updates during the month of June 2020. See what’s up with V&D, H&M Home, Amazon and more…
V&D E-BIKE LINE
On June 1st, online department store V&D introduced its own brand of e-bikes. At the time of its bankruptcy in January 2016, the Vroom & Dreesmann (V&D) department store chain had 62 locations in the Netherlands. The new V&D webshop has been active since 2018.
The ladies (Belagio, Bacoli) models are available in 2 frames heights (51cm and 54cm) and come in a variety of colors such as sky blue, aqua, teal and lilac. The mens (Bolzano, Barzio) e-bikes are also available in 2 frame heights (54cm and 57cm) and colors include dark grey, royal blue and forest green. Regular price for the V&D e-bikes is €1299 but the current launch prices are €799 and €849.
EU AGAINST TAKEOVER OF DUTCH OPTICAL BUSINESS
The European Union has objected to the takeover of Dutch optical firm Grand Vision by the French-Italian conglomerate EssilorLuxottica. Its concern is the negative impact on marketplace competition within certain countries, which could ultimately hurt EU consumers. Grand Vision, a Dutch company, operates optician chains in many countries under different names. Among these are Pearle and Eye Wish here in the Netherlands.
AMAZON TO RUN SUMMER SALE
Amazon will be running a Summer Sale for the first time. The event is to help third-party sellers who have been hurt by the coronavirus epidemic and are looking at taking another hit in July due to Amazon moving its annual Prime Day event to September. During the first several weeks of the coronavirus lockdown, third-party retailers could not sell on Amazon due to limited shipping capacity that was reserved for Amazon goods. The left many small businesses with excess inventory. The Summer Sale event begins June 22 and will likely run for 7-10 days.
H&M HOME OPENS STORE IN AMSTERDAM
H&M Home opened its first free-standing Dutch store on the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam. The unit sells the full H&M Home assortment plus items from other brands. The store has a monogramming service as well.
BREITLING OPENS IN AMSTERDAM
Swiss watch brand Breitling has opened a store on PC Hoofdstraat in Amsterdam. It is only the third company-owned outlet in the world (after New York and Berlin).
NEW TENANT FOR HUDSON’S BAY AMSTELVEEN
Warehouse 1181, a new department store format, has moved into the former Hudson’s Bay building in Amstelveen. It is the first location for the retailer which sees a possibility of eventually expanding to up to ten sites in the Netherlands. Warehouse 1181 will change a large portion of its brand mix every three months.
APPLE STORES TO REOPEN FROM COVID CLOSURE
Apple reopened its 3 stores in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, The Hague and Haarlem) on June 10th. Certain new rules and restrictions apply: customers are requested to wear face masks (which is mandatory for employees), customers’ temperatures will be taken remotely, there is a limit to the number of shoppers allowed in at the same time, a distance of 2 meters is required among customers and between customers and staff members, and stores have reduced operating hours compared to pre-coronavirus lockdown.
NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR ICI PARIS XL
ICI Paris XL has introduced a ‘Go Instore‘ live video chat capability to its Dutch website. A customer can have a conversation with an in-store employee who will appear on the screen rather than just texting with a customer service person in a chat box. The added technology is especially useful when an answer to a question involves a demonstration.
CBS REPORTS MAY 2020 SALES WERE SLIGHTLY UP
The Dutch statistics bureau, CBS, has reported Netherlands May 2020 retail sales for the non-food sector were up 1.2% vs May 2019. The first increase since February when the coronavirus epidemic took hold. However some categories continued to experience decreases including clothing (down 23.4%), shoes/leather goods (down 20.5%) and personal care products (down 1.1%). The strongest categories were DIY/kitchens/flooring (up 29.4%), sports equipment/recreational goods (up 16.7%), consumer electronics (up 14.2%) and furniture/household products (up 8.7%).