Dutch fashion retailers recover following tough period

Dutch fashion retailers are performing better following a number of tough years. Fashion chains such as C&A, WE Fashion, CoolCat and MS Mode are benefitting from the Dutch economic recovery and are showing positive results.

Photo: Archive

These retailers adjusted their approach and found their place again in the Dutch retail landscape, event as it saw the arrival of newcomers, including Zalando, Primark and Inditex's brands, according to Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD).

It's a complete reversal of the situation in 2014 and 2015 when almost all Dutch retailers struggled with declining revenues and for some this led to bankruptcies. But those that did survive were able to slowly bounce back. And Dutch chains such as Hema and Protest are also expanding overseas.

Of those in recovery, CoolCat and M&S Mode were profitable in 2017 while C&A and WE are also growing again. C&A introduced a new store concept in 2017 and plans to renovate 23 of its 121 Dutch stores this year alone, while WE fashion saw an increase in online sales. The Sting, Chasin’ and Score are also more upbeat and are opening new stores.

According to Edwin Belt, sector specialist for fashion at INretail, Dutch fashion retailers have responded well to changing consumer behaviour with an omnichannel offer and longer opening hours to meet current consumer needs, Belt told FD.

Yet although the Dutch economy is in recovery, there are still fashion chains that are struggling. Recent bankruptcies include footwear retailer Shoeline and sportswear chain Frontrunner.

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