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Orchestra plans more job cuts and shop closures

11:42 18/02/2020

Children's clothing chain Orchestra-Prémaman is planning more store closures and job cuts than first planned, with only 12 of its 53 Belgian shops staying open.

The French retailer, which is restructuring its operations in several European countries, now plans to shed 162 jobs in Belgium.

The group initially announced 12 Belgian store closures at the end of last year, before increasing the total to 34 last month - and now 41.

Orchestra-Prémaman is also aiming to achieve 159 net job losses in France, 108 in Spain, about 20 in Germany and others in Greece and Switzerland, the group said.

The retailer specialises in clothing and accessories for babies and children and announced last September that it was encountering financial difficulties.

In other retail news, Blokker has been sold to Dutch Retail Groep and all 123 of its Belgian stores will be rebranded Mega World.

"Because of the losses incurred, it was not possible to continue on this path without taking drastic measures," Blokker's parent company Mirage Retail Group said in a statement.

According to De Tijd, only a quarter of Blokker's 123 Belgian outlets are profitable. The losses date back to 2014 and turnover was down 31% last year. Under the terms of the acquisition, no stores will close and no jobs will be lost.

Dutch Retail Groep director Dirk Bron said he was "very happy" with the acquisition and "convinced that the discount formula has a great future in Belgium".

"As of tomorrow, we will start to convert these points of sale to the new discount brand Mega World," he said.

"No store will close, and I am sure that this new formula will allow us to ensure the development and profitability of this business."

Written by The Bulletin