High-profile Bankruptcies (no doubt some names have already been forgotten!)

Since 2013 big-name companies have regularly gone bankrupt. Here follows a summary of the companies that have disappeared from our high streets.

 In 2013 Oad went bankrupt but luckily parts of it were taken over by other companies. This was followed in 2014 by the bankruptcy of the jeweller, Siebel, the Free Record Shop, Halfords and Mexx. Siebel and Mexx were taken over, the Free Record Shop can now only be found as ‘shop-in-shop’ concept and Halfords’ franchisees managed to save 52 of the Halfords shops from going under.

 Schoenenreus (disappeared from our high streets), Miss Etam (about half of the stores were relaunched), and V&D were the next ones to follow in 2015.

 The bankruptcy of the 62 V&D department stores and the 250 La Place branches came as a real shock. Bad year-end sales figures and the enormous rental costs for their premises sealed V&D’s fate.

Retail entrepreneur, Roland Kahn (yes, the founder of Cool-Cat; see below) tried to save V&D, but in the end he only bought their intellectual property rights. To date, nothing has been done about plans to do something with the V&D brand name. Parts of La Place have been taken over by supermarket giant, Jumbo.

In 2016 it was clothing brand McGregor’s turn; it has since continued under a new name. Then came the electronics company, Scheer & Foppen when no-one could be found to take them over. Drinks retailer, Mitra was next; 145 franchises were taken over by the drinks warehouse De Monnik Dranken and entrepreneurs with a Mitra Winkel. And then the last one in the row was MS Mode, which started up again with fewer stores.

2017 was relatively quiet: the only bankruptcies were The Phone House and clothing company, Witteveen.

Clothing brand Supertrash and the Kijkshop were doomed in 2018. Olcay Gulsen (CEO of Supertrash) did not manage to turn her brand around. She stepped down as CEO so that she could concentrate on her television work. A group of investors is planning to take over ‘as many of the activities as possible’. It was the end of the road for the Kijkshop.

These shocking bankruptcies continued at the end of February 2019. Intertoys started the ball rolling. The company could not survive the enormous competition in the toy branch and bad online sales. Luckily, some of the shops could be relaunched.

This was followed in March by shoe retailer Fred de la Bretoniere (the parent company helped the chain to relaunch); the CoolCat clothes shops (the shops would be kept open until Easter and then a relaunch would be considered); fashion chain Miller & Monroe; Op=Op Voordeelshop (caused by development costs for their expansion and unease in the Retail branch), and Sissy Boy (taken over by the family concern, the Temeer Group).

In April news broke out that because of the bankruptcy of Roto Smeets (higher paper prices and at the same time a sharp decline in printing volumes) there was a chance that the Donald Duck, Libelle and Elsevier magazines would no longer be printed (publisher Sonoma has since guaranteed that these magazines will continue to be printed).

Despite the growth in the number of new companies in 2018, expectations are that more companies will go bankrupt in 2019 than last year.

Why is it that so many high-profile names are having to file for bankruptcy?

There are any number of possible reasons. Of course there is the impact of the financial crisis: people had less money to spend. And with the money that they did have, they wanted a bargain. 

Chains such as Kruidvat and Action dominate a significant part of the Retail branch. The influence of the internet and looking for (online) bargains have taken flight in the last few years. Just look at how much effort delivery companies now have to make to meet the demands of delivering (on time) the growing number of parcels from online spending.

The clothing branch has been affected by relatively warm winters: winter collections are bought in early in the year and because there was not a really cold winter recently, a lot of these winter collections are not sold.

Also (too) high rental commitments can lead to arrears in rental payments. The payment arrears of the companies mentioned played a big role in their downfall. This shows just how important it is to pay on time, but what is even more important: make sure your debtors pay you on time. 

No matter which way you look at it, at Togather we say: if you work with us, you can be sure that you will get your money!

Sourse: Nu.nl,  De Ondernemer,  Accountant.nl

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