Harense Smid takes over 25 Megapool stores
20 April 2004
AMSTERDAM — Consumer electronics retail chain De Harense Smid is taking over 25 stores from the bankrupt Megapool group, ensuring the continued employment of about 225 workers, it has been reported.
De Harense Smid and Megapool officials said on Monday that the takeover will be completed by the end of the month and the 25 Megapool stores will assume the name of the new owner, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The price of the takeover was not revealed and the store locations singled out for the deal will be released in the near future.
De Harense Smid — a 176-year-old family business based in Oss — currently has 30 stores across in the Netherlands and three branch locations in Belgium.
Director Antoon van Herpen expects the new stores will account for 40 to 50 percent of the company’s increased turnover, but refused to reveal the company’s present turnover.
De Harense Smid intends to open the new-look Megapool stores in the first week of May and the 225 workers waiting in limbo will be contacted in coming days about their jobs.
The new owner has also said it will try to fill future vacancies with former Megapool employees. “Experience has taught that over one to two years, job vacancies always arise. Moreover, it is difficult to find skilled store personnel,” Van Herpen said.
In the accord between De Harense Smid, Megapool receivers and banks, an agreement was reached guaranteeing the supply of goods to Megapool customers who have already made a down payment.
Both parties also want to offer a solution to consumers who have returned a product to Megapool for repairs.
The Apeldoorn-based Megapool was declared bankrupt on 8 April, resulting in almost 900 job losses. Stores had closed several days earlier as the company sought a temporary stay on debt repayments in Zutphen Court.
The company said it was experiencing financial difficulty due in part to stiff competition. But union FNV Bondgenoten blamed the board of directors, claiming no real decisions regarding company policy had been taken in the past six months.
Besides the 900 employees, Megapool also had about 200 workers employed in the shops of its franchisees. The company 126 non-franchise stores and 47 franchise stores.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news