Sunday 12 July 2020

Didi is latest high street casualty as online shopping boom continues

High street clothing group Didi has been declared bankrupt, just two days after retail chains Steps and Promiss announced major closures.

Didi has 81 stores nationwide and a workforce equivalent to 350 full time jobs. The webshop has already been closed, even though online shopping is being blamed for the physical shops’ demise. Didi focused on clothing for older women.

The problems are the latest in a string of bankruptcies and reorganisations across the high street. The number of shops in the Netherlands has gone down by 11% over the past 10 years, according to figures published by national statistics agency CBS in December.

On Monday it emerged that Belgian parent FNG is closing all 14 Promiss stores in the Netherlands, along with 38 of the 48 Steps branches. Altogether 108 full-time staff and 126 temporary workers are employed in the stores, most of whom will lose their jobs.

Around 50 will be offered jobs in other FNG chains such as Miss Etam and Claudia Sträter.

FNG said it wanted to concentrate on online sales, which account for more than half the profits of the two chains. The company, which owns dozens of clothing chains in Belgium and the Netherlands, acquired Steps in 2014 and Promiss two years later.

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