An enigma, that is the man who just bought Blokker's Belgium branch and wants to turn it into a discounter. We tried to shed some light on the notoriously reclusive Mega World owner.
Mega Sport to Mega World
Blokker Belgium's new owner, Dutch Retail Groep, is an unfamiliar name in Belgium. Neither the holding's name, nor brand name Mega World or founder Dirk Bron's own name yield many search results on Google, although RTL discovered that Bron had already tried to open a chain called 'Mega World' in 2008. He had to abandon his ambitious plans after opening just one store in the Netherlands, but clearly the dream never went away.
Bron first surfaces in the early 1980s, when he opens a sports store called Aktiesport in Dutch Gouda. He expanded the chain with dozens of new stores, before selling it to USG in 2002. His first move to Belgium came about in 2006, when he tried to save the ailing Superconfex chain with fifteen stores. Just as today with Blokker, his idea was to turn the stores into big general discounters - names like 'Mega Sport' and 'Megaretail' were floated... but the plan did not work out and the chain disappeared.
Now it turns out that Bron had continued his discounter dream with one 'Mega World' store in Lelystad (near Amsterdam) in 2008, but both he and the chain disappeared... until now, with the acquisition of 123 stores in Belgium and Luxembourg.