In the Bijenkorf shops last year, expenditure by tourists from outside the European Union (EU) accounted for 10 percent of turnover. The chain has been struggling for months with far fewer tourists and the shops were also completely closed for six weeks.
“You can never make up for that with online sales,” said a spokesman on Thursday in an explanation of the annual figures for 2019, which also briefly discuss the situation this year.
In 2019, a total of about 26 million customers visited one of the seven subsidiaries of the group. That was 3 percent more than a year earlier. More and more people are also finding the Bijenkorf online.
The webshop was already extended to Dutch-speaking Belgium and Germany. Wallonia, Austria and France will be added this year. “During the closure of the stores as a result of COVID-19, our webshop became even more important. Also in Germany and Belgium, where the stores were closed for a longer period of time,” says CEO Giovanni Colauto.
Even so, the shops remain the main cork on which the Bijenkorf floats.