Household goods group Blokker is to embark upon a major reorganisation process, closing stores and selling all its operations which do not carry the Blokker name.
Some 100 loss-making Blokker stores are to be closed, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The Xenos, Big Bazar, Leen Bakker and Intertoys brands will be sold off and the Marskramer chain will become a franchise operation.
In total, some 1,900 jobs will go over the next two years, mostly at the Marskramer and Blokker chains. The company’s distribution centre in Mijdrecht will also close down.
‘We realise only too well that this announcement will have a major impact on our staff,’ Blokker chief executive Caspar Meijer said. ‘We are convinced our other retail formats have a promising future ahead with a new owner.’
Blokker began overhauling its high-street Blokker stores over a year ago and has been attempting to shore up profitability since 2014. The switch to the new look Blokker will continue in popular locations, as will the online shop blocker.nl.
The Blokker group currently has seven retail formats in eight countries, with a total workforce of some 22,000. The company is due to publish its 2016 results next month.
The problems at Blokker are just the latest to hit Dutch high streets since the economic crisis and rise of online retailing.
The massive V&D department store chain went bust at the beginning of last year. Other household goods names to disappear from the high street or run into financial difficulty include Megapool, It’s, Dynabite, Dixons, Harense Smid and Mikro-Electro.
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