Disappointing Christmas season for Dutch high street staple Hema

HEMA department storeHigh street retailer Hema saw sales down 3.6% in the crucial final two months of 2014, the company said on Thursday.

Sales at Dutch stores were down 3.4% but in Belgium and Luxemburg turnover fell by as much as 4.5%. Franchise operations did even worse, with a 4.7% decline in sales, news agency ANP reports.

Hema said at the beginning of December its Q3 losses had tripled to €14.8m. The company blamed that on a Dutch store revamp and one-off costs attached to a reorganisation at its headquarters.

In November, Hema was voted the ‘most unmissable’ Dutch brand for the seventh year in a row.

Hema, which only sells own-label products, is regularly cited as one of the biggest Dutch brands and one of the things Dutch expats most miss when they live abroad.

The company was founded in 1926 and is currently owned by Lion Capital.

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