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Old England now ancient history

Published on 03/11/2004

3 November 2004

BRUSSELS – Brussels’ Old England clothing and fabric store, founded more than a century ago, has closed its doors for good, it was reported on Wednesday.

The business, which established an international reputation for quality and craftsmanship, had to take the drastic measure due to increased competition and costs, as well as a lack of qualified personnel, according to Belgian press reports.

Old England was once housed in the Art Nouveau building that is now home to the Brussels Musical Instruments Museum, which still bears the ‘Old England’ name.

The store has moved several times in its long existence, most recently in 1997 to Avenue Louise 419.

In an interview with Belgian daily Le Soir, store president Luc Verleysen explained that the business could no longer compete in a world of mass production and outsourcing by bit manufacturers.

He said that while clients were sad about the store’s closing, they understood the reason behind the move.

He said he has also come to terms with the news: “In my heart and my conscience, for me, Old England, it’s over,” he said.

Although the Old England name has long been known in Brussels, for the past couple of years the store has not even been able to afford any publicity campaigns.

“People want a brand on their back,” Verleysen said.

“Our name is evocative but no longer correspondents to clients’ needs.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news