It’s official. The only Dutch-owned moderate department store chain in the Netherlands, V&D (Vroom & Dreesmann), will be closing its doors and not emerging from bankruptcy as had been hoped. There are multiple parties interested in different portions of the business, but only one was interested in continuing V&D operations.
Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo acquired the La Place subsidiary from bankruptcy in mid-January. It included 3 stand-alone restaurants and La Place restaurants/food courts in most of the V-D store locations. It has already agreed to continue operating the La Place locations in V&D stores should the chain emerge from bankruptcy as an on-going concern. That deal in now void with the announcement that negotiations with the sole party who had been interested in taking over V&D stores as an on-going concern, Roland Kahn (owner of the 100+ specialty store chain Cool Cat), have now ended with no agreement having been reached.
Over 8,000 employees of V&D department stores will ultimately lose their jobs, some at once and others after a brief extension to work while the merchandise in stores is liquidated, a process likely to take between 4-6 weeks.
One of the other parties which has expressed interest in V&D assets (namely store locations) is the Canadian firm HBC led by chairman Richard Baker. HBC owns and operates a number of department store chains including Hudson’s Bay in Canada, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor in the United States, Galeria Kauthof in Germany and Metro Group in Belgium. That group has announced it plans on opening around 60 stores in the Netherlands, regardless of whether they are successful in acquiring the V&D locations.
V&D department stores was founded in the Netherlands in 1887 by Willem Vroom and Anton Dreesmann. The first store was located in Amsterdam. At the time of bankruptcy, V&D department stores operated 15 locations in South Holland including in The Hague, Rotterdam (2), Gouda, Leiden, Delft, Rijswijk, Zoetermeer, Leidschendam, Dordrecht, Hellevoetsluis, Vlaardingen, Naaldwijk, Alphen aan den Rijn and Gorinchem.