On my piece 'The Future Music of V&D'I received an interesting response from a credit controller from my network. Along with recent developments, there is enough reason for a second, more critical article: can V&D still be helped?
Not only was V&D late in responding to the new channel called internet, but V&D also had high corporate debts. As a result, they could not fully respond to e-commerce: only aspects that led to direct cost reduction were applied. There was therefore no investment in the future. While that was desperately needed because there is less margin online, Daniel Ropers, the founder and boss of Bol.com, explains in the NRC:
You can also see the pattern of things being filled in half in the V&D procurement. If you look in their clothing department, you will see designer clothing from Mart Visser or Jane Norman hanging next to clothing that falls apart from misery. No focus whatsoever on the quality and coherence of their products. Buying a stack of fashion-colored jackets for a good price and offering them flat does not make you a retailer.
V&D acts halfheartedly and with no focus on the customer. As if we as a customer do not pay attention to the price / quality ratio. And as if the internet does not ensure that prices and supply can be compared even more easily. The well-known store demand 'Are you already being helped? was answered quickly: yes, and even better.
Thanks for the trust
Now that things are going so badly, the V&D decided that they had to hold on to customer confidence. That is why they sent this e-mail on 5 February (Image via RTL). On presentation of your receipt you will receive a cup of coffee that day and the day after at LaPlace. The V&D certainly missed that you can grab a free cup of coffee at the AH for years, whether you buy something or not.
The owner of our V&D, which was founded in 1887 by Willem Vroom and Anton Dreesmann, is Sun Capital. This article from Faillissementsdossier.nl explains why Sun Capital is not at all concerned about V&D: blunt ax method, let iconic companies go bankrupt and are more concerned with their personal reputation.
Speaking of reputation: the V&D still holds on to the desired wage reduction. But brings things differently on 16 February: landlords want to save the V&D (they agree to a rent reduction), owner Sun Capital also invests millions and even the tax authorities cooperates. Why don't the 10,000 V&D employees also want to contribute and give in 5.8% wages? Surely the V&D cannot go down on stubborn employees? V&D now offers a counter offer variable rewards: the staff is therefore made responsible. (and this message about Marc Leder's new house won't really motivate them)
How much help is needed?
The helm must change. That costs a lot of money. Made last year V&D loss of 49 million euros. So more money has to be added. The V&D had that, incidentally, 1.4 billion, but the then owner KRR did not put that in the company but in their own pocket. This is because investment companies do: they display grasshopper behavior rather than playing Sinterklaas. How much money must be put into the V&D? And will that ever be earned back from the consumer? With a smaller margin? The V&D offer is already too moderate. Despite all the nostalgic feelings of the average Dutchman, I really expect that the V&D will go bankrupt after a short while, because it is about our wallet. We are always more devoted to this than to a well-known street shop.
View it as the series Are you already being helped? Maybe nice for nostalgic reasons to watch, but it is no longer on TV. V&D can no longer be helped.