Belgian book chain Standaard Boekhandel has purchased its counterpart Club, adding 31 book stores to its company. The two fit together nicely: while Standaard Boekhandel had stores in the north, Club had its stores in the southern part of the country.
Expansion across the language border
The Club stores have a similar array of products to Standaard Boekhandel (books and stationery), so the purchase is mostly a nice geographical expansion. CEO Geert Schotte had previously stated that in RetailDetail Magazine that he was looking for expansion in an ever-shrinking market.
"Thanks to this operation, we will not only open the Walloon and Brussels markets, but we will be able to join Club's and Standaard Boekhandel's strengths, which will give both companies lots of opportunities", Schotte said.
Look for synergies
If the antitrust agency accepts the deal, Standaard Boekhandel will buy Club entirely, but there would be no immediate changes for its employees and customers. The company wishes to analyze possible synergies first before actually making any decisions.
It is not known how much the book store chain paid to acquire Club, but according to Belgian newspaper De Tijd, its current owners paid 21 million euro for Club in 2006. At this point, Club's yearly turnover is 53 million euro.