Perfumery chain Douglas is reportedly planning to close 500 of its 2,400 European stores. The German retailer had previously announced it would be taking a critical look at its store network.
The news about the closure of 500 stores comes from the usually well-informed Manager Magazin. In Germany, 50 of the 430 shops would close their doors, mainly in smaller towns. The biggest cuts, however, would be in Spain and Italy, where Douglas operates a network with a large number of very small stores as a result of acquisitions.
For the time being, however, the company does not want to confirm the figures. "We announced back in the summer that, as part of our corporate strategy and against the backdrop of a changed market climate due to the corona pandemic, we would be reviewing our store network. This would include the Christmas activity, which is important to us. Final decisions have not yet been taken", the chain told RTL.
Douglas has been working on extensive digitisation for some time now. With success, because last year a third of sales, worth approximately 1 billion euros, was already generated through e-commerce. Insiders say that the decline in sales over the Christmas period was relatively limited due to the strong growth in online sales, certainly in comparison with other retailers in the sector.
In Germany, non-essential stores have been closed since mid-December. Douglas came under fire for wanting to keep its stores open after all, arguing that the chain sold mainly drugstore products. CEO Tina Müller was met with a storm of criticism, after which she reversed her decision. Since then, all German Douglas stores have been closed.