Opens on Friday The first Dutch Veritas store Its doors are in Breda. This will be followed in the fall by two branches in Den Bosch and Maastricht. Expansion outside Belgium is part of the growth strategy.
like shops [in Breda, Den Bosch en Maastricht, red.] After takeoff, Veritas wants to open more stores through franchising from 2024. Veritas CEO Cornel de Meyer sees room for about eighty branches and is even considering crossing the German and Scandinavian borders, CEO told De Teijd.
To make this plan a success, he left the Belgian concept at home, because “the mixture of underwear and wool is not understood by foreigners.” This is not the first time that Veritas has crossed foreign borders. The company has previously opened several stores in Germany and France. The concept there did not satisfy them, after which it caused Veritas financial problems in 2019 and pulled out.
So Veritas is taking a different approach this time: Dutch stores will be 120 square metres. This is much smaller than the branches on the home front, which range from 250 to 600 square metres. “In the Netherlands, we will only sell socks, pantyhose, briefs and seasonal items. We only sell wool, yarn and other sewing materials online.”
Veritas wants to grow: foreign expansion must bring in 19 million
Foreign expansion must ensure that Veritas’ growth targets are met. The company aims for an EBITDA of 18 to 19 million euros. Belgium is saturated with more than 120 stores. Costs are rising in Belgium. “If the sales volume does not increase, then the profit will decrease,” de Meyer told De Tejde. “Many other chains are waiting for the Belgian business situation to improve, but this is not a good situation. You have to keep investing, innovating and adjusting when necessary.”
The Dutch concept means that stores cost less money and can generate more. Read: Less rent, less investment in furnishings, and fewer employees. Whether Veritas manages to win over an audience outside of Belgium this time around, time will tell. In the past, De Maeyer has successfully brought fashion brand Paprika to Germany, France and the Netherlands. Then he also chose small shops. “An approach that has proven successful even today,” de Maier told De Tijd.
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