Belgian online department store Unigro is shutting down. The e-commerce player, part of Otto Group, can no longer compete. 141 employees will lose their jobs.
From the mail order era
Unigro dates back to the days of mail-order catalogues and was a household name back then. Today, the company, based in Sint-Niklaas, sells all kinds of items online in Belgium and Luxembourg. Its assortment ranges from household electronics to furniture and baby gear, but the Otto subsidiary can no longer cope with the increasing pressure.
On Wednesday, the company announced its intention to cease operations, business newspaper De Tijd reported. This will put 141 jobs at risk. Unigro has been running at a loss for years, admits top executive Yves Moens. A solution to get out of the negative figures was not found. The webshop should almost double its annual turnover, but that is “not feasible”.
The increasing competition from big players like Amazon and Bol.com weighs on, but the structural costs are also said to be far too high. The current unfavourable economic climate is now the deciding factor: consumer purchasing power has been affected, Unigro says. Unigro is entering talks with the social partners to find an appropriate solution for the employees.