Dutch high street staple Hema is closing its six stores in Britain, in the first visible sign of its new strategy to focus on ‘home markets’ of the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
It became clear that changes were on the way last year when the company was taken over by the Van Eerd family, of Jumbo fame, and an investment fund. Hema also has a handful of stores in Spain, Austria, Germany and, via a local franchisee, in Dubai and Qatar.
Hema started in the UK in 2014 as part of a strategy to grow into an international brand.
‘However, we never managed to build a solid position in the UK market,’ new chief executive Saskia Egas Reparaz said. ‘We are now evaluating our entire country portfolio with the aim of being able to focus on a limited number of countries, which will allow us to better exploit growth opportunities in the future.’
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