Friday 18 October 2019

Struggling Marqt should focus on Amsterdam, retail experts say

A Marqt in Amsterdam. Photo: FaceMePLS via Flickr

Local and organic food supermarket group Marqt should concentrate on Amsterdam and abandon its plans to move into the rest of the Netherlands, retail experts told the Financieele Dagblad on Thursday.

Marqt, founded 10 years ago, continues to make a loss and said earlier this week that it would start looking for ‘strategic alliances’ as its complete supervisory board stood down.

A spokeswoman declined to say if the resignations meant that the shareholders wished to sell the company. More information will be made public in the autumn, the spokeswoman told RTLZ.

The chain currently has 19 outlets, of which 12 are in the Dutch capital, and former director Joost Leeflang had plans to boost this to 60.

‘That was a mad idea,’ retail expert Paul Moers told the FD. ‘There is a target audience who want to buy organic products and don’t worry about the cost within the central urban belt of the Netherlands. But they are not in the rest of the country.’

Marqt was launched by two former Ahold workers who wanted to set up a supermarket which had close relationships with its suppliers and which focused on organic and locally-grown produce.

The company posted a loss of €1.3m in 2017, when its Belgian investor left and Social Impact Ventures and a Triodos investment fund stepped in.

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