Belgian fashion chain JBC will be opening its first of at least five German children’s clothing stores in Wuppertal next week. “We believe the Germans will appreciate our level of quality and finishing”, says CEO Bart Claes.
Own children’s clothing stores
Bart Claes kept the announcement of the German plans a secret until the official inauguration of JBC’s brand new main office in Houthalen. “Regarding children’s clothing in Belgium, we are the market leader”, a proud CEO stated.
"We currently have three stores only focused on selling children’s clothing and they are performing very well. That is why we are now going to bring that concept to Germany.” The first JBC Kids opened in Knokke in 2011, with another one in Waasland Shopping Center (in Sint-Niklaas) and a third in Bertrange (in Luxembourg).
The first German store will open in Wuppertal, in North Rine-Westphalia: “We plan to open at least 5 stores in this region within a year, after which we will evaluate our German presence. Contrary to the Dutch situation, where price is extremely important, German customers also value quality and finishing. That is why we believe they will be interested in what JBC has to offer.”
6.5 million euro for a new warehouse
JBC will also start building a new warehouse in the industrial zone ‘Centrum Zuid’ in Houthalen soon. “We have been in dire need of more capacity and the construction of this warehouse will alleviate that problem and allow us to anticipate possible growth in the long run.”
"It provides the opportunity to update our machinery for automated stockpiling, sorting and order picking with the latest technology”, Bart Claes explained. In total, 6.5 million euro is being invested. “Once the work is done, which should be around the end of 2014, JBC will occupy some 50,000 m² in this industrial zone.”
That is not the end of the good news show for the Claes family, as CEO Bart is now an official member of the elite club of Master Marketeers, an honorary title bestowed by the Stichting Marketing onto people who “help to make the marketing business shine and who are an example for their younger colleagues”.
Claes had almost won Marketeer van het jaar (Marketeer of the Year) 8 years ago, but he admits "That would have been too early. I have more experience now and JBC has been more successful. Now I can present a list of achievements, not one single spectacular sales achievement”, he explained to De Standaard.