In 2016, clothing chain C&A once again suffered a blow in Belgium. The Dutch company suffered a turnover drop, but also had to deal with a loss for the second straight year.
The Belgian division’s turnover dropped 3.9 % to 447 million euro and its operating profit slumped from nearly 1 million euro in profit to a loss of 18.6 million euro. Its net loss also grew fivefold to 19.8 million euro. Spokesperson Tom Delforge attributes that to several causes: the weather was not ideal, not in winter and not in summer, which forced C&A to discount a lot of items in order to generate sales.
“We managed to sell about the same number of items, but turnover dropped because of structural price drops and aggressive discounts”, Delforge told De Tijd.
C&A is investing 1 billion euro across Europe to get its results back on track. This includes remodeled stores and an improved online strategy. In the next five years, about 80 % of stores should have been updated and a number of onerous stores will have been shut down. C&A Belgium has 138 stores and 1,800 employees. Its European main office is also located in Vilvoorde and employs another 400 people.
About a month ago, C&A went against tradition and appointed an outside, Alain Caparros, as its new European CEO.