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Several Dutch stores of Clarks fall to bankruptcy

By Sylvana Lijbaart


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Credits: Clarks

The curtain has come down on several stores of British shoe brand Clarks. The stores in Amsterdam (two), Breda, The Hague, Eindhoven, Haarlem, Leidschendam, Maastricht, Rotterdam and Utrecht were declared bankrupt on January 9, according to the public insolvency register.

G.A. De Wit has been appointed receiver. FashionUnited sought contact with the trustee, but is still waiting for a response.

The reasons for the bankruptcies of Clarks Amsterdam B.V., Clarks Breda B.V., Clarks Den Haag B.V., Clarks Eindhoven B.V., Clarks Haarlem B.V., Clarks Kalverstraat B.V., Clarks Leidschenhage B.V., Clarks Maastricht B.V., Clarks Rotterdam B.V. and Clarks Utrecht B.V. are not yet known. Furthermore, bankruptcy has been declared on Clarks Management B.V..

The Dutch Clarks stores are operated by shoe family Mulder, according to the website. Mulder Schoenen expanded its portfolio in 2008 to include Clarks stores, the first of which opened in The Hague.

The British shoe brand has been struggling for some time, however. In November 2023, a company spokesperson told FashionUnited that it was cutting 103 jobs worldwide. In a statement, the individual said: "The company has a stable financial base, but to sustain its post-pandemic recovery, operating costs must be kept strictly in check." The wave of layoffs was motivated by difficult economic headwinds and the current cost-of-living crisis, both of which are negatively impacting Clarks' operating results.

Clarks achieved sales of 502.8 million pounds in the year 2022. That equates to a 2 percent drop in sales compared to a year earlier, according to an annual report published in September 2023. At the time, the aforementioned perils and high inflation led to a slowdown in direct sales in the second half of 2022. The company expects these challenges to continue well into 2024.

The British shoe brand Clarks was founded in 1825 by brothers Cyrus and James. The company is still family owned and based in Street, Somerset, England where it once began. Clarks grew into a global company selling shoes in more than 35 countries.

This article was updated Jan 11, 1:30pm, after FashionUnited received a response to the reports from Clarks.

A spokesperson for the brand confirmed that its Dutch stores that fall under the wing of Mulder Schoenen will close this month, yet new store openings in the region are already planned.

As of December 2023, the British retailer has secured a new distributor in the form of Brussels-based Group Alain Broekaert, which has been tasked with supporting the brand’s growth in Europe, with new stores set to open across the Benelux.

The stores impacted by the bankruptcy are operated by the Mulder Schoenen shoe family, and had been declared bankrupt after the partnership between Clarks and Mulder Schoenen was not extended, the spokesperson said.