May 16, 2017 / 9:45 AM / 8 months ago

Blokker Holding to close 200 stores, sell chains, cut 1,900 jobs

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Blokker Holding BV, the operator of several Dutch chain stores, said on Tuesday it plans to close around 200 stores, sell its toy and specialty chains, and cut just under 9 percent of its workforce to focus on its flagship Blokker household goods stores.

The changes would lead to 1,900 job losses out of the privately-held company’s 21,700 employees over the coming two years, Blokker CEO Casper Meijer said in a statement on Tuesday.

The chains Intertoys and Maxi Toys, Asian goods importer Xenos, discounter Big Bazar and furniture outlet Leen Bakker, representing another 13,500 employees in the Netherlands and neighboring countries, mostly Belgium, are up for sale, the company said.

Blokker lost 52 million euros ($57 million) on sales of 2.01 billion euros in 2015, the most recent period it has released figures for.

(Corrects to change number of stores to 200 from 100 in the lead and headline and clarifies that focus will be on Blokker branded stores.)

Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Louise Heavens

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