The Blokker family is tired of fighting and is now looking to sell its eponymous Dutch chain. This would spell the end of a retail empire and of 122 years of history.
End of an era
Blokker, founded in 1896, has been in the hands of the founding family since the beginning, but has had a troublesome couple of years lately. Most of the chains that were added to the Blokker empire have been sold again and for the remainder (Big Bazaar and Maxi Toys) too, the company is looking for new owners.
The Blokker holding was already partly dismantled when it sold chains Intertoys, Xenos and Leen Bakker last year. The family behind the holding explained that move by saying that it wanted to give its undivided attention to its main store chain, but now seems to throw the towel. Contacts were established to Dutch and foreign parties about a sale, as CEO Michael Witteveen confirms in Dutch newspaper FD.
The asking price is as of yet unknown, but will not be sky-high as the holding company has been loss-making since 2014 and ended 2017 with 344 million euros in the red. The turnover amounted to 1.6 billion euros, generated from 430 Dutch and 128 Belgian stores.