The corona crisis has, at best, slowed down the growth of Action, but has not been able to stop it. Over the past twelve months, the discounter has opened another 115 branches.
Recovery after lockdown
Nevertheless, Action has been severely affected by the crisis during this spring. Throughout the first lockdown, the retailer had to close all shops in Belgium and France, among other countries. This resulted in a loss of turnover, but when the shops were allowed to open again, they recovered quickly.
Figures from major shareholder 3i show that the discounter recorded an operating profit of 608 million euros in the past financial year (which ended at the end of October). The year before, it was 519 million euro.
However, due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, Action was unable to open as many shops as initially planned. A total of 115 shops were opened, including the first 5 in the Czech Republic. The opening of the first Italian shops had to be postponed to next year, Le Soir reports.
As a result of the second corona wave, stricter measures are again in place in Belgium and France, allowing Action only to sell so-called essential goods. "For competition reasons, we are only allowed to sell parts of our range. For example, shampoo, detergents, toothpaste, hand gel, paper towels and pet food," says a spokesperson to De Telegraaf. "That preserves half of our turnover."