High street staple Blokker signs funding deal with US financier

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Household goods retail group Blokker has signed a credit facility with US company Gordon Brothers which helps finance struggling high street chains. 

Blokker, which has been loss-making for years, was up for sale and needed new money to keep it afloat.

Ynse Stapert, chief executive of the Mirage Retail Group did not disclose financial details but said in a statement that the deal heads off the need to find a new owner.

“We are very pleased with the result,” he said. “We can move forward and challenges will become opportunities. The sale of Blokker is no longer on the cards.”

The Blokker family sold the Blokker group five years ago to its then-chief executive officer Michiel Witteveen. He took over the heavily loss-making parent company Blokker Holding – later renamed Mirage – which at the time also included the Big Bazar and Xenos formulas.

Blokker Belgium went bankrupt at the end of 2020, less than a year after Mirage sold it to entrepreneur Dirk Bron. In September, bargain chain Big Bazar went out of business, two years after being sold by Mirage. Electronics chain BCC, part of Mirage since 2020, collapsed in the same month.

Blokker has some 400 high street outlets and a workforce of 4,000. The company which dates back over 100 years, also has a coronavirus tax debt of €28 million.

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