Clothing chain e5 mode, which was recently taken over by Phoenix, has announced its complete withdrawal from Wallonia. Eventually, the twelve Walloon shops will all close their doors.
Too small in Wallonia
According to the chain, it is just too small to be profitable in the French-speaking part of Belgium. The first shops will be closed in April 2020, but the process will last until 2021, depending on the lease contracts of the shops in question.
"In the Walloon market, our range is seen as fashion that is not for every day. In Flanders, this is completely different. Moreover, with twelve stores, the scale is too small for us to support the entire infrastructure and marketing that a fashion chain needs", CEO Frédéric Helderweirt says in a press release. "There is no point in perpetuating this situation, so we intend to concentrate on our Flemish stores and not extend the lease contracts of the Walloon stores. We expect to close these stores in due course. Of course, our webshop will remain available in both national languages to serve our Walloon customers", the CEO continues.
The twelve doomed stores have 41 permanent employees. The company is initiating discussions with social partners and employees in order to examine each employer's situation individually. Whether these closures have to do with the new owner (who was rumoured to want to restructure and later sell the chain), or whether plans in this direction had already existed for some time, was not disclosed.