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RetailDetail telex: retail news from the Benelux and beyond

News telex
Beeld: Shutterstock.com

14:05: German department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is planning to close 62 of its stores, significantly fewer than the 80 stores that were mentioned just last month.

12:21: Henk Jan Beltman, owner of slave-free chocolate producer Tony's Chocolonely, was arrested on suspicion of having sprayed his company's name, along with the slogan Black Lives Matter, over a statue of Jan Pieterszoon Coen - a president of the Dutch East India Company with a particularly vicious reputation.

10:08: Lidl Belgium wants to reduce its carbon footprint by a third by 2030, but says it has done almost all it can already. As there are still major sustainability gains to be found at its suppliers (especially producers of milk and meat), the discounter will send climate advisers to help them reduce their footprint. (Dutch version)

09:06: Another blow for Belgian fashion group FNG, as local newspaper De Standaard reveals a "strange transaction" in which someone - according to the newspaper itself, someone with ties to Dutchman Rens van de Schoor - sold 1.4 million shares to the fashion group at a price that was way too high. The group would have incurred a loss of 25 million euros on that transaction.


News telex 18 June

15:16: Russian supermarket chain Vkusvill has recently opened its first store outside of Russia in Amsterdam, and is now looking to continue that expansion - either through a second store in Amsterdam or in a different Dutch city.

14:03: French luxury group Kering has given actrice Emma Watson a place in its management board. The goal is to emphasise Kering's efforts to become more sustainable, surfing on Watson's credentials as an activist for a better (more equal, more sustainable) world.

12:16: Tesco is selling its activities in Poland, after doing the same to its Asian activities earlier this year. The British retailer wants to focus on countries where its market share is higher (the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia).

11:25: Mars says it is "evaluating all possibilities" to change the Uncle Ben's brand, which has been criticised by "voices of consumers, especially in the Black community".

10:31: Belgian shoe store chain Schoenen Torfs raised its turnover by 3?% in 2019, but its net profit was reduced to almost zero because of costly store transformations. Remarkably, the online share of its turnover remained stable at 17?% in 2018, but then almost doubled during the covid lockdown. (Dutch version)

09:53: Forever 21 is returning to Europe: after a time of financial problems the company had exited from the Old World, but because of the "huge demand" the company perceives in Europe, it is now reopening its webshop.

09:20: German meat producer T?nnies was forced to close its headquarters after a huge outbreak of Covid-19 in one of its slaughterhouses. Of the 1,000 employees, 400 tested positive and 500 are still awaiting their results.


News telex 17 June

16:41: Mondelez has promised to start using recycled plastic for the packaging of its cream chease Philadelphia, in line with its ambition to become a fully circular company in the future.

15:35: Two major Dutch mussel processors, Roem van Yerseke and Prins & Dingemanse are putting their rivalry aside and are going to merge. They will continue to trade under the banner Roem van Yerseke.

14:20: Daniel Grieder is the new CEO at Hugo Boss, a short while after leaving Tommy Hilfiger, where he was Global CEO. (Dutch?| French)

09:33: Doughnut chain Dunkin' has opened its first Belgian store in Antwerp, near the city's main railway station. (Dutch version)

09:02: Fashion label Diane von Fürstenberg is going to close all of its eighteen stores in the United States, except fore its flagshipstore in New York.


News telex 16 June

18:02: Colruyt, market leader among Belgian supermarkets, has not reached analysts' expectations for its financial year 2019/20. Turnover went up only 1.6?%, while the group's market share dropped (slightly), for the first time in years. (Dutch version)

15:05: H&M has opened its first Belgian H&M Home in Brussels, after a few months' delay because of the coronavirus crisis. (Dutch?| French)

14:18: Belgian fruit and vegetable processor Greenyard has reaped the rewards from its transformation plan: its gross profit gained almost 50?%, while net profit went down by almost two thirds. (Dutch?| French)

13:19: Another retailer that had to present a huge turnover decrease was H&M: the lockdowns due to the coronavirus crisis meant turnover halved in the past three months to some 2.7?billion euros. On the bright side: this month, so far, the turnover drop was "just" 30?%. (Dutch?| French)

11:17: Belgian transport economy experts are expecting a huge drop in orders from cheap Chinese platforms (like Alibaba), largely due to the capacity decrease and cost increases caused by the coronavirus crisis. (Dutch?| French)

10:25: Following the example of countries like France and Spain, Belgium too is looking to impose a 'GAFA' tax on tech companies that generate a lot of turnover in the country without paying that much taxes. The proposed bill would have now generated enough support in parliament to see it through.

09:51: Dutch online supermarket Picnic has crossed the milestone of a thousand specially designed delivery vans. Picnic's first electric van was put into use just five years ago, but the fleet has already amassed a total of twelve million kilometres.

09:08: Spar has opened a supermarket in the Netherlands, that has room for just one person. The revamped sea container is aptly called 'Spar Mini' and is completely corona-proof, the chain says. (Dutch version)


News telex 15 June

15:51: Unilever has promised to invest a billion euros in the battle against climate change. Moreover, the FMCG giant has promised it will be carbon-neutral by 2039, eleven years ahead of the Paris Agreement deadline.

12:21: French interior chain Habitat is planning the return to the Belgian market, with the launch of a new web shop just the prelude for the opening of new physical stores. (Dutch?| French)

11:57: Swedish home improvement chain Ikea has some good news: as it has not suffered as much as it thought from the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore, it will look into how it can repay nine governments that have supported the Swedish chain with furlough-like schemes. (Dutch?| French)

10:46: Tony's Chocolonely, the Dutch producer of slave-free chocolate, has suspended its building project in Zaandam. The project featured a factory and headquarters, but also an experience centre - but it failed to secure enough investment in these Covid-times.

09:52: The 26 Britsh Le Pain Quotidien?stores have not found an interested buyer: some 15 stores would now be put in a new structure under LPQ-owners Cobepa and M80. (Dutch?| French)

09:05: Are Dutch retail chains?Hema and Blokker?about to merge? The latter's owner, Mirage Retail, has offered current Hema owner Marcel Boekhoorn to take over his chain, in a move that aims to lower Hema's debts. (Dutch?| French)

09:00: Welcome to this week's 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.