De Bijenkorf expands to France

Facade of department store de Bijenkorf in Rotterdam
Photo: JPstock /

No one knows how they will pronounce it, but from now on French consumers can also shop online at De Bijenkorf. Following the launch of a French-speaking Belgian webshop, the department store chain is now attacking France.


Just now lockdown begins

De Bijenkorf tries its luck in France: just as the second lockdown starts, the Dutch department store chain opens a webshop there. Since 2 November, the French website has been online with more than a thousand brands in the fashion, beauty and home categories, Fashion Network knows. To support the expansion, a new distribution centre was opened in Tilburg in 2019, covering 82,000 square metres and allowing free delivery (over 25 euro) within two working days.

Returns are also free of charge and can be made within 60 days. As a welcome, an immediate discount of 25 euros is offered for the first online purchase over 150 euros. To raise awareness, the department store retailer focuses exclusively on online marketing, with a campaign on social media and YouTube. A specific French team has also been added to the international team.


European rollout online

The opening in France is part of a wider European (online) expansion, which started five years ago with the launch of a first foreign e-commerce site in Flanders. De Bijenkorf launched in Germany in 2019, then in Austria in March 2020 and finally, the recent launch in Wallonia in September was a foretaste of the jump to France.

By accelerating its online growth strategy, Bijenkorf has been able to gain market share during the corona pandemic. The premium department store chain is thus in stark contrast to sector favourites such as Marks & Spencer, which just saw its clothing sales plummet during the corona crisis and had to admit a loss for the first time in 94 years