HEMA wants to concentrate on its core markets and has therefore decided to close all six shops in the United Kingdom at the end of the summer. A decision on Spain may follow soon.
"Exploit growth opportunities”
The decision comes as no surprise: a few weeks ago, CEO Saskia Egas Reparaz had already indicated that she wants to focus primarily on sustainable growth in the core markets: the Benelux and France. "Maybe foreign expansion is a good idea, one day, but it is not mission one now," she said. She also immediately reintroduced Dutch as the working language at the Amsterdam headquarters.
"Of course it is unfortunate that we have to say goodbye to our colleagues and customers in the United Kingdom. HEMA started in the UK in 2014 as part of the strategy at the time to grow into an international brand. However, we never managed to build a solid position in the UK market. We are now evaluating our entire country portfolio with the aim of being able to focus on a limited number of countries, which will allow us to better exploit growth opportunities in the future. This is better for HEMA, its employees and its customers in the long term."
Observers therefore consider it likely that the retail chain will also leave other markets in the near future. The first market to come into focus is Spain, where the retailer has ten shops.