In the stores there is a reduction of hours in flexible and fixed-time contracts where no redundancies have occurred.
De Bijenkorf: cutting workforce and accelerating online channel growth
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, online shopping at the Bijenkorf has, in its own words, grown rapidly. In the past six months, sales grew by tens of percent. This concerns online growth in the Netherlands as well as in Belgium and Germany. A large proportion of (Dutch) customers indicate that online shopping is currently preferred. That is why De Bijenkorf has decided to invest extra in people and resources to accelerate its already strong online position in the Netherlands and Belgium. In addition, the French-language web store will be launched in Wallonia in September and the Bijenkorf will also open its digital store in France later this year.
Physical store developments
The physical stores of the Bijenkorf were closed from March 18 to April 29, 2020 to limit further distribution of COVID-19. Since the reopening of the physical stores, measures have been taken to guarantee the safest possible shopping environment for employees and customers. As a result, the number of possible visitors to the stores is limited. The majority of customers say they feel safe and the NPS is higher than last year.
Strategy of (international) online growth, customer experience and sustainability unchanged
Despite the limitations of the security measures, the Bijenkorf continues to invest in customer experience and sustainability, in addition to investments in digital developments. For example, the Patisserie opened in Amsterdam in June and work is currently underway on a renewed cosmetics department in The Hague. During the closure of the shops, the lighting in Maastricht was replaced by sustainable LED lighting.
CEO of De Bijenkorf, Giovanni Colauto: “The past months have been a period that we have never experienced before. I am proud of the efforts of all employees of de Bijenkorf. I see no reason to change our long-term strategy, but it is necessary to take action on the changes that are now taking place. The customer is experiencing accelerated growth in online shopping, both in the Netherlands and in our neighboring countries. We must respond adequately to this. At the same time, the reality is that economic expectations are not rosy and we need to reduce our costs and therefore reduce the number of jobs. “