Electronics chain BCC is on the verge of collapse. The owner of BCC, the Mirage Retail Group, has applied for deferment of payment at the Amsterdam court. Deferment of payment is usually the prelude to bankruptcy.
The company says it is facing “continued and increasingly tough market conditions.” Two administrators will be looking into the future options for BCC activities in the near future, the chain reports.
BCC says it will keep the stores open for the time being, but several businesses in the country are closed today “due to circumstances”. Branch managers are said to have decided to keep the stores closed for the safety of the staff.
The NOS receives messages from customers who complain that they can no longer return products and will not receive a refund for canceled orders. It is unclear how long the shops will remain closed.
Mirage Retail owner Michiel Witteveen does not want to comment to NOS. In the FD he says that BCC’s revenue model is no longer correct. “Rent, wages and energy have all become more expensive. To make money you simply have to make higher margins, but major suppliers refuse to move in that direction.” Consumers are also spending less on electronics.
BCC is one of the largest electronics chains in the Netherlands with 56 stores and around a thousand employees. It mainly competes with retail chains such as Coolblue, bol.com and Mediamarkt.
Mirage Retail Group, also owner of Blokker and Intertoys, bought BCC from a French company in 2020. Witteveen told the FD that BCC has been in trouble for years. The corona pandemic, the war in Ukraine and high inflation have weakened the company financially.
The corona pandemic has left a hole in the balance sheet. The company could not claim corona support and has a tax debt of 30 million euros. The company was already operating at a loss. In 2021, a loss of 21 million euros was incurred on a turnover of 424 million.
In recent years, costs have been significantly cut and reorganized. In May, a quarter of head office jobs were cut. Mirage has also tried to sell BCC but has not succeeded.
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