Economy

‘Citizens’ initiative Koop De Hema steps into department store’

Koop de HEMA announced this this afternoon. However, neither the new owners nor the department store itself have confirmed the deal.

“We think it is fantastic that we have so many fans,” says a HEMA spokeswoman. But she does not want to say whether the company also thinks it is a good thing that those fans participate. “The parties are still talking to each other, and we will not make any statements about it until then.”

New Owners

Last summer, HEMA came into the hands of a group of creditors, who then sold the department store to investor Parcom and the Van Eerd family, the owner of the successful supermarket chain Jumbo.

In order to prevent HEMA from falling into the wrong hands, a number of citizens’ initiatives were also active at the time. To protect HEMA, they wanted to buy the department store chain themselves.

After HEMA was taken over by Parcom and the Van Eerd family, a combination of the citizens’ initiatives negotiated participation in the deal. The Van Eerd family seemed to be sympathetic to this.

Investing in HEMA

Enthusiasts of HEMA can deposit money via investor platform Nxchange, ultimately in exchange for certificates in the company. These are securities that entitle the holder to a share of the profit, but without control.

According to the citizens’ initiative, the intention is that private individuals should nevertheless have some say through their investment.

Pros and cons

Participation by private individuals has both advantages and disadvantages for HEMA. The advantage is that the retail chain can strengthen its ties with customers and aficionados of the brand through their financial participation. In this way, the company can assure itself of a close base.

The disadvantage is that private investors may expect too much participation or returns. This may reduce the company’s effectiveness. If investors are disappointed, there is also a risk of image damage. In recent years, HEMA has made huge losses.

Supported

Ton van Veen, the right-hand man of the Van Eerd family, is positive about the initiative in a press release from Koop De Hema. “We felt supported during the bidding battle because it became clear through the citizens’ initiative that HEMA had to remain in Dutch hands. It is great to see that all those thousands of fans support Hema in this massive way.”

However, this is not a confirmation of the deal. The Van Eerd and Jumbo family responded to a request for an explanation with a reference to HEMA. Parcom and HEMA themselves expressly refrain from commenting.

Chair Anna Grebenchtchikova of the foundation behind Koop de Hema emphasizes that there is nevertheless an agreement on the deal. “There are still many details to be sorted out, but everyone is busy with it. It is one hundred percent clear that this is going to happen.”

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