Hema quits UK, all six stores to close
There will be more store closures in UK this summer with news that Dutch variety retailer Hema will exit its six physical locations. Although it’s a relatively small number of stores, it adds to the massive total of physical shops that have shut (or will close down soon) in Britain. Its UK webstore already has a sign on it saying it’s “temporarily closed”.
The retailer, which sells a wide range of goods, including clothing, accessories and beauty products, said it wants to to focus on its core Netherlands, Belgian and French markets.
News of its exit follows last week’s news that Gap is shutting all of its UK stores as part of a review of its European operations. But Gap is set to maintain its presence in France and Italy, albeit through local partner deals.
Hema had ambitious international plans earlier last decade and entered the UK market in 2014. But on Monday the company said it had never managed to build a solid enough position in Britain.
CEO Saskia Egas Reparaz said it was sad to part with staff and customers in the UK, but “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”.
There has been speculation that the company might exit the Spanish market next. It has 10 stores there.
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