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RetailDetail telex: retail news from the Benelux and beyond

News telex
Photo: Shutterstock.com

12:47: Supermodel Doutzen Kroes is ending her long collaboration with Hunkem?ller. The Dutch model has worked for the lingerie retailer for more than five years, but thinks the time has come for new challenges.

11:09: French sports retailer Decathlon is to open a store in Dublin this weekend - its very first in the Republic of Ireland. The store was due to open three months ago, but the opening was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

10:46: Non-food discounter Action still struggles with logistical problems due to the coronavirus crisis: there are delays in China, a reduced capacity in its distribution centres and a run on the stores when the lockdown came to an end.

09:58: Colruyt has the best reputation of all supermarket chains that operate in Belgium. Even more: on all but one aspect they beat the competition. Overall runner-up Delhaize is also the runner-up in almost all aspects, but it ranks first on quality. (Dutch?| French)


Newstelex 11 June

17:09: The European Commission is to officially charge Amazon because of the way it handles data from external partners on its platform, the WSJ reports. If the investigation results in a conviction, the penalty may be as high as one tenth of Amazon's complete yearly turnover.

16:32: JD.com may raise as much as 3.5 billion euros via an IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The Chinese e-tailer is already listed on New York's Nasdaq.

15:24: French chain Cultura, which sells cultural products like music and books, is opening its first store outside of France in the Belgian city of Liège. The chain is seen as a rival to Fnac. (Dutch?| French)

14:03: Just Eat Takeaway has won the battle for GrubHub. The British-Dutch meal delivery company defeated competitors Delivery Hero and Uber Eats. (Dutch?| French)

13:48: British-Dutch FMCG conglomerate Unilever has finally decided to drop its complex company structure. Two years ago it looked like the company would choose a completely Dutch identity, but now the British side has gained the upper hand.

12:25: In the first quarter of this year, turnover from e-commerce in Belgium took a bad hit. While certain sectors (like garden furniture) boomed tremendously, the huge sectors Entertainment and Travels were decimated. Overall sales dropped 8?%, sector organisation BeCommerce said. (Dutch?| French)

11:49: Covid-19 has thwarted Ahold Delhaize's acquisition of the United States' oldest supermarket chain, King Kullen. The 32?King Kullen stores would be integrated into Stop & Shop, but both parties have now cancelled the deal.

10:54: Beyond Meat, an American producer of meat substitutes, has used the inauguration of its first Dutch plant to announce it will build a second one in the Netherlands any time soon. For Beyond Meat, these are the first production facilities outside of the US.

09:40: Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize has appointed Jan-Willem Dockheer as its new brand manager for its Serbian branch. Dockheer previously worked for Delhaize's Dutch sister chain Albert Heijn, as general manager for its convenience store chain AH to go.

09:29: Travel centre chain Neckermann plans to open its 62 Belgian stores again tomorrow. In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, they will feature an additional focus on domestic destinations.

09:04: Belgian fashion group FNG posted abysmal annual results for 2019 this morning. Turnover (excluding acquisitions) went down 5.3?%, while the company's net loss for the past year (so before the coronavirus crisis) amounted to 292?million euros. At over half a billion euros, the company's debt now surpasses its annual turnover.?


Newstelex 10 June

15:55: Although physical stores are open again, Belgian postal service bpost does not notice a decline in the number of online orders: on peak days the number of parcels to be delivered is still half a million, the postal company reports to newspaper HLN.

14:45: A lot of phishing messages are circulating on social media: consumers are being seduced by fake vouchers from Colruyt, Lidl and Media Markt, among others. Don't click...

14:33: In England, all non-essential stores may reopen from Monday, the government has confirmed. In Northern Ireland they open on Friday. Scotland and Wales have not yet set a date.

13:20: Belgians spend about 3.6?billion euros a year on their garden, says a report by Shopperware commissioned by retail federation Comeos. During the lockdown, 37?% also bought garden articles online.

12:25: Casa, a Belgian chain with over 500?stores in eight countries, has applied for protection against creditors, as its turnover has nosedived due to the corona crisis.

11:33: EU governments lose out on 15?billion euros in revenue each year, because of counterfeit goods. In sectors like cosmetics, the loss in turnover amounts to more than 14?%, the EU Intellectual Property Office says.

10:19: HelloFresh has launched in a new market: the meal box delivery company has expanded to Denmark. The new step follows a successful launch in Sweden, the company says.

09:54: Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt is handing out six million reusable clips to put on shopping cart handles. "This way, the staff that is now disinfecting the shopping carts, can go back to working in the stores", the discounter says.

09:38: Meal delivery company Deliveroo wants to promote donations to restaurants by its customers, offering them two choices: rounding up the amount of their order as a tip, or a real donation.

09:29: Management has used a bailiff to end a strike in a Decathlon distribution centre in Willebroek, between Antwerp and Brussels. According to the unions, the strike started because management did not want to pay out certain bonuses and because it behaved in an intimidating, rather than a constructive, fashion.

09:15: Belgian bookstore chain Standaard Boekhandel has suffered a loss for the first time in over three decades. Lower book sales and the coronavirus pushed the net result down, even if the sale of stationaries lifted the turnover slightly higher. (Dutch version)

09:03: Fashion group Inditex has released a quarterly loss for the first time. The coronavirus crisis turned last year's Q1 net profit of 736 million euros into a 409 million euro loss, while turnover almost halved.


Newstelex 9 June

15:44: Bert Barmans, former executive at Zespri Europe, becomes CEO of Special Fruit, a global importer and distributor of specialty fruits, vegetables and exotic specialties.

15:33: German fashion chain Tom Tailor receives a loan of one hundred million euros with a state guarantee. Subsidiary Bonita has requested protection against creditors.

15:09: Fashion discount chain Zeeman launches a new fan collection: it consists of T-shirts, shorts, hoodies, socks, flip-flops and an eye-catching bikini with the Zeeman logo. All at extremely low prices, and exclusively available online. (Dutch?| French)

15:05: In view of the uncertainties surrounding the corona crisis, Kortrijk Xpo has decided to postpone the Tavola food trade fair to 21-22-23 March 2021. Earlier, the fair had already been moved from March to September 2020. (Dutch version)

14:46: Lidl is looking for more than sixty new colleagues in the West Flanders region: 47 branch employees and 16 job students. The supermarket chain wants to be ready for the expected hustle and bustle on the Belgian coast this summer.

13:58: Because tourists still stay away, turnover in the reopened stores of Galeries Lafayette is falling sharply. The department store chain will lose at least a billion euros in revenue and is asking for state support.?

10:58: The strike action at Decathlon in Willebroek continues: the unions are reportedly angry now that they learn that executives have purchased new Tesla cars for themselves.

10:29: CEO Stephan Fanderl leaves the ailing department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof, which now has to look for a new CEO to manage the urgent restructuring.

09:19: NIU, a listed world player in electric scooters, opens its first Belgian flagship store in the centre of Antwerp. (Dutch?| French)

09:15: The three Belgian local soft drink brands (Ferm, Ritchie and Simone a Soif!) join forces and launch the platform BelgianCraftDrinks, where people can order tasting boxes. (Dutch?| French)

09:09: Meal delivery platform Just Eat Takeaway would like to take over its American competitor GrubHub. But Uber and Delivery Hero are also interested. (Dutch?| French)

09:01: Tomorrow Albert Heijn will open a new store at the retail park Shopping Pajot in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. It is already the eleventh store for franchise partner Peeters-Govers. The brand strengthens its presence in the Brussels periphery. (Dutch version)


Newstelex 8 June

16:05: Once again, the Decathlon distribution centre in Willebroek remained closed on Monday due to a strike. Nothing has changed since last Tuesday's strike, according to the unions.

15:17: The situation on airports will remain problematic for years, Lagardère forecasts. The chain of tax free shops has therefore decided to cut one in three jobs in Belgium. (Dutch?| French)

12:39: Belgian fashion group FNG?has appointed Yves Pollé as its new CEO. He is called a "transformation manager" who has to help the company in its recovery plan.?

11:50: Belgian beer giant AB InBev?has joined the ranks of big FMCG producers that have started selling directly to consumers as a result of the coronavirus crisis. In a pilot project, Belgian customers can buy five kinds of beers and have them delivered the next day.

10:01: Four Spar supermarkets have successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign to purchase an AED and place it on an external wall, so that it is accessible for the whole neighbourhood in case of need.

09:49: Supermarket chain Delhaize has sold forty million toilet rolls during the peak of the corona crisis, four times more than normal sales.

09:28: Dutch chain Dille & Kamille is to reopen its store in Antwerp this week after a thorough renovation. The store will feature a large selection of cleaning products in bulk. (Dutch version)

09:05: Trouble at Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt: the trade unions are angry as management says it wants to abandon certain coronavirus safety measures - such as forcing people to go shopping alone.

09:00: Welcome to the first English-language RetailDetail news ticker. On this page, we will make a summary of interesting retail news from various sources, focusing on the Benelux?but often venturing beyond. We will add links to articles as our editors write or translate them as soon as possible.