Hunkemöller is reducing its store stock in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Due to the corona crisis, the lingerie chain is reviewing its expansion plans, but also the existing network: in the mature markets it will have to be done with fewer stores.
Growth plans scrapped
Last year, Hunkemöller was planning to expand worldwide and to grow to 1,400 stores, now a completely different sound is heard: the lingerie chain will “probably” reach it anyway. current number of 950 branches to keep. That’s what CEO Philip Mountford says at a RetailTrends event.
Still, it doesn’t mean the underwear retailer doesn’t want to open any more stores. On the contrary, the chain already has a number of concrete growth markets in mind, including Russia. So what it does mean is that in the more saturated markets, especially the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, stores will close. Mountford does not disclose how many closures Hunkemöller has in mind. He does say that he will mainly focus on the most profitable stores, which appear to be mainly in smaller cities and locations.
To 250 million online
In addition, the chain wants to accelerate its e-commerce and omnichannel strategy, as online sales have amounted to 180 million euros since the corona crisis. In the next three years, that amount should approach 250 million euros, also with the help of more attention to mobile and social media as sales channels.
Hunkemöller was in financial trouble due to the corona crisis. In an analysis, Deloitte recently even had doubts whether the chain can survive given the current accounting situation, and the consultancy issued a continuity warning. The lingerie group then announced that it was having “positive” talks with the banks about better financing conditions.