Money problems shut Polare bookstores

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All 20 shops owned by Polare, namely Selexyz and de Slegte, will "temporarily" shut their doors following a "strategic reorganization" that will also see their online store go black. 

Polare revealed on Monday that the organization considers this measure necessary in order to safeguard its future. Polare is now in discussion with various parties.

"Despite the recently resumed supply from CB, the Centraal Boekhuis, a leading Dutch book distributor, the renewed agreement doesn't offer a structural solution," Polare writes in a declaration.


Polare. Source: Wikimedia/FaceMePLS

Earlier this month, CB terminated its stock flow, which moved Polare to oblige to an emergency reduction of credit regulation. Polare tried to convince partners to help smooth over their financial problems, but none of the proposed plans were accepted.

The commercial director of CB wrote in a letter to publishers that Polare's move to close its doors is now a reason to no longer provide books. CB said it would hereby stop supplies to both the Netherlands and Belgium branches.

Polare has admitted to an "unforeseen loss in book sales." Public spending on books has been on the decline since 2008, but have not yet reached their expected lowest point.

According to Polare, book sales has dropped in the last three months of 2013 by more than 11 percent, while the turnover in the top-100 titles has even seen a decrease of around 20 percent.

In November, Polare announced a reorganization in which 54 of the 336 full-time jobs were axed.

Polare is part of the investment group ProCures who, since summer 2013, also own Free Record Shop (FRS). In 2012, ProCures bought out the failing book shops Selexyz and de Slegte. The former of which was under threat of bankruptcy. This still caused 120 people to lose their jobs.

According to the director of Polare, Jan van de Wouw, hard work is being done so that the shops can re-open. The Dutch outlet stores and the eight Belgian establishments of Polare will as yet remain open.

The closing is yet another disappointment for the owner of ProCures. At the end of last year, the Belgian branch of Free Record Shop went bankrupt. The website of Free Record Shop also became unavailable die to the failure of the book club ECI who managed the website.

Polare and Free Record Shop are not the only shop chains that have suffered financial problems in the last few years. Consumers are keeping a tight grip on their purses during  times of crisis, and the chains receive a lot of competition from online shops.

Electronics businesses especially have seen a battle in the last to years. Among others, It's Electronics, iCentre, Harense Smid and Block Electrostore went under.

Clothing businesses have also got it rough. Chains such as Schoenenreus, House of Shoes and Henk.nl went bankrupt. Next to that, Siebel, Sabon, Oad Reizen and Expo have had to file for bankruptcy as well.

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