Even Jip & Janneke no longer sacred at "new" Hema | RetailDetail

Even Jip & Janneke no longer sacred at "new" Hema

Even Jip & Janneke no longer sacred at "new" Hema

New Hema CEO, Tjeerd Jegen, is cleaning things up at the ailing department store chain. "Hema has become too much of a supermarket", it is said, with even one of the biggest Dutch icons ever (Jip & Janneke) under threat.

Flying start

Tjeerd Jegen is Ronald van Zetten's successor at Hema and he has been quite busy over these past few months. He transformed the Amsterdam main office into a "support office", chalked the company's main values ("customer is number one", "every cent matters") on the wall, changed the board of directors and placed all directors between their employees.

 

All board members, himself included, worked in a store for two days and will wear a button with "can I help you?", just like every other employee does. Now, six months into the job, his findings were harsh: "It came down to the fact that every division was too preoccupied with its own division. We need to change our company culture, to get things done together", he told Dutch paper Het Algemeen Dagblad.

 

Battle plan ready

The new CEO knows what to do for the next few years: the jam-packed warehouses have to be emptied ("we will need two years at least to sell out everything"), move its production facilities to Europe ("That means we can get items into shops within 6 weeks instead of 20 weeks and get popular seasonal items back in stock quickly").

 

He will also update the product range, increasing focus on convenience food ("We have become too much of a supermarket lately. We do not have to replicate what Albert Heijn and Jumbo have done already") and decent, seasonal basics like underwear, socks and t-shirts ("If customers require the latest fashion items, then they can go to Primark and Zara").

 

Even Jip & Janneke and their dog Takkie are no longer sacred. "We do not need a in-depth market research to see that younger children nowadays have other heroes from books or movies", he told AD.

 

International expansion and user-friendly web shop

Tjeerd Jegen still believes in international expansion even though analysts have pointed out that the fast growth (more than 300 new stores and 4 new countries since 2007) is actually part of the problem. The CEO states that "every new store contributes to the operating income".

 

He feels there is room for several hundred new stores in France, where it already has 41 stores now. "On a third of the floor space, with a third of our product range, we manage a better profitability than in our average Dutch store".

 

The main priority will be its web shop, which has to become more user-friendly. "We have seven payment services and it may take up to 7 days before you can pick up your package in one of our stores. I am deeply embarrassed about that as it makes it very hard for customers to order online and that has to change as fast as possible." Currently, Hema barely manages 3 % of its turnover online, while its competitors have surpassed 10 %.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


“Urgent action needed against territorial supply constraints”

23/05/2018

(content provided by EuroCommerce) Speaking to mark the launch of the Benelux study on territorial supply constraints, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren argued for the EU to act on big brands’ fragmentation of the European market.

Action owner 3i wants to keep chain after all

22/05/2018

Investor 3i wants to keep a hold of Action after all. Even though the owner made it seem like it was looking for a buyer, 3i now denies it.

Action owner wants to sell stake

18/05/2018

Action’s owner, investment firm 3i, aims to sell a part of the discount store chain next year. The Brits would want to sell a 35 % stake in the firm.

Belgian fund close to HEMA acquisition

09/05/2018

Belgian Core Equity holding is allegedly close to acquiring Dutch chain HEMA: a verbal agreement is apparently in place, all that is required are the signatures.

Walmart, not Amazon, will acquire Indian market leader Flipkart

07/05/2018

Despite Amazon’s attractive offer, Indian online retailer Flipkart has chosen for Walmart and (remarkably), Google owner Alphabet as the new owners of 75 % of Flipkart’s shares. The deal is said to be worth 15 billion dollar.

Alibaba's growth exceeds expectations

07/05/2018

Chinese retail group Alibaba has published better-than-expected quarterly results: turnover went through the roof, but its profit is under pressure because of increased investments.