Dutch clothing chain CoolCat's turnover dropped 5 % in 2015, compared to a year ago. Founder Roland Kahn's company mainly suffered in Belgium, where fewer customers visited its stores.
155 million euro turnover
In 2014, CoolCat's turnover reached 155 million euro (compared to 163 million euro the year before) according to the retailer's yearly report it presented to the Chamber of Commerce. Its operational result (ebit) dropped nearly 82 % from 16 million euro to 2.9 million euro.
The chain has 130 stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg. The Netherlands represent the bulk of turnover, with 105 million euro. The biggest turnover blow comes from Belgium however, where turnover dropped 13 %. It is a remarkable fact that total turnover dipped 5 % lower than in 2013, because the chain managed to grow its turnover between 2008 and 2013 despite the crisis.
Painful error from the Minister
According to Het Financieele Dagblad, CoolCat's turnover is the result of a painful error made by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen. In 2013, she blamed CoolCat for not doing anything to improve working conditions in the Bangladesh textile industry. The accusation proved to be false, it turned out.
However, the harm had already been done: "We clearly see a sales drop internally. In December, sales dropped 8 % and we have seen it recover slowly, -5 % in January, -3 % in February, -1 % in March", Kahn reflected on that nasty period earlier this year.
Roland Kahn also owns store chains MS Mode, Sapph and America Today and the latter managed to increase its 2014 turnover 4 million euro to 55 million euro. MS Mode also managed a turnover increase, while there are no recent numbers for lingerie chain Sapph.