With an operating loss of 33.3 million euros, de Bijenkorf closes its 2021 financial statements with solid red figures. Nevertheless, the luxury department store also comes with positive news: sales were almost ten percent higher last year than in 2020. De Bijenkorf is positive about the future, the company expects to achieve better results in 2022 than in the years before the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the company, part of the loss is due to the corona lockdowns last year, in which the seven branches in the Netherlands had to close their doors for weeks. CEO Giovanni Colauto said at the announcement of the annual figures on Wednesday: “the second Corona period has forced us to show inventiveness, creativity and resilience. That institution has borne fruit.” In 2021, the chain posted a turnover of 16.6 million euros. Online sales in particular took off. The number of online visitors increased by ten percent, which translated into an increase in online sales by ten percent. De Bijenkorf has seven stores in the Netherlands, in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Utrecht, Amstelveen and Maastricht. There are webshops in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and Austria. In 2021, new webshops were opened in Monaco and Luxembourg.
De Bijenkorf is owned by parent company Selfridges. This company was acquired by the Austrian Signa Holding and the Thai Central Group at the end of last year. The acquisition, which includes department stores in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada in addition to De Bijenkorf, will be completed in the coming months. The expectation is that the new owners will invest heavily in the department stores and online shops of De Bijenkorf. The strategy of targeting luxury products and high-purchasing consumers, which had been deployed under the Selfridge owners, is likely to continue. According to experts, this is a wise choice. Worldwide, luxury stores are doing better than mid-range stores. In 2020, de Bijenkorf used the GO financing, a loan with guarantees from the Dutch government to get rid of the corona crisis. It was a $ 30 million loan that the government would guarantee for eighty percent if the company went bankrupt. Last year, the company repaid $ 11.25 million on that loan. In addition, the luxury department store has loans from the former parent company Selfridges and from banks, 10 million and 26 million, respectively. The company expects the new owners to take over or replace these loans.