SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Toy shop chain and Dutch market leader Intertoys has gone bust, three weeks after being given court protection from its creditors.
The company has 286 of its own stores, with 3,200 members of staff. A further 100 stores are run by franchisees, which are not affected by the bankruptcy. The Dutch shops are remaining open while the curators investigate the possibility of a restart or partial sale.
Talks are already ‘at an advanced stage’ with a potential buyer for the Belgian arm, which operates under the name Bart Smit Speelgoedpaleizen. The Blokker group sold its Dutch toy store chain to British investment house Alteri Investors in October 2017.
Financial details were not disclosed at the time. Intertoys, the biggest Dutch toy group by far, has faced increasing competition from webshops as well as the likes of Blokker and Action.
‘The far-reaching step reflects continuing pressure on the entire retail sector,’ Alteri said in a statement. Increasing online sales have reduced toy store sales by 50% in ten years.
Also, specialist stores like Intertoys have faced increasing competition from discounters outside the traditional toy market.(DutchNews)