C&A closes down formal wear subsidiary Canda International
On March 22, Dutch retail group C&A announced the decision to close down its subsidiary Canda International, which specialised in producing formal and occasion wear, market segments that have been particularly troubled in the last few seasons. The closure is said to potentially affect some 113 jobs.
“The closing down of a business is never easy to envisage,” said in a press release the CEO of C&A Europe, Giny Boer, after the unions and employee representatives were informed of the decision. C&A indicated that Canda International had been engaged for a decade in overseeing the production of formal wear for the group’s retail chain. A market segment that in the last few years has been eroded, as casual wear became increasingly popular, a trend that was accelerated by the pandemic’s impact.
In the document heralding the closing down of Canda (whose name derives from the words ‘C and A’), a company set up in the 1970s, C&A emphasised its ambitious plans for e-tail growth. The group stated that in 2021 its online sales grew by 54% over the previous year. C&A, a long-established retailer that operates 1,300 stores in 18 European countries, is keen to tap this evolution.
“Changes in the retail environment are adding urgency to the need for transformation. However, while improving our online performance, we still believe in the importance of meeting our customers on the high street,” said Boer. C&A Europe indicated that, in addition to expanding its e-tail business, it will continue to upgrade its stores, having revamped 400 of them until now.
The Canda International announcement was made soon after a major change in C&A Europe's senior management team: Martijn van der Zee, head of products and sustainability, stepped down from his role on February 7, after working for 30 years in various key positions within the group, including that of head of purchasing Europe. France, where C&A operates 120 stores, has recently been placed under the stewardship of Eric Andrew Brenninkmeijer.
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