Nov 16, 2017
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Sportswear chain Front Runner files for second bankruptcy

Nov 16, 2017

Dutch sportswear chain Front Runner has filed for bankruptcy, according to the public bankruptcy report on Dutch website, Faillissement Dossier. It is the second bankruptcy for the company, which first defaulted in June 2016.

Interior Front Runner store - Photo: Front Runner Facebook

 According to the public bankruptcy report on Faillissement Dossier, the court in Midden-Nederland declared the retailer bankrupt on 9 November 2017, and the brand's e-store has since been made unavailable. Front Runner has not yet made an official announcement concerning the bankruptcy or the reasons behind it.

After filing for bankruptcy for the first time in 2016, the chain argued that declining sales and increasing costs were the root cause: Turnover declined to 4.4 million euros in 2016 from 16 million euros in 2016, according to Retail News.

Front Runner  was also impacted by costs relating to a large theft in 2015, in which a large amount of its stock was stolen from the central warehouse in the city of Nieuwegein and caused €500,000 in damages. The theft resulted in a dispute between Front Runner, the insurance company and the supplier of the security system placed at the warehouse. After the incident, it took six months before the stock was up and the chain could resume normal store sales, wrote Twinkle Magazine in 2016.

In August 2016, co-founder Jaap van Treijen restarted the chain by taking over stocks, equipment and goodwill, eight branches and their corresponding lease agreements, which were transferred to a new Front Runner company. At the time, 100 of the 174 employees maintained their jobs, while 4 of the 16 branches were closed as a result of the bankruptcy.

Front Runner first opened in 1999 and was available in 13 cities, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Utrecht. The multi-brand chain carried brands including Nike, Vans and Adidas, offering collections for men, women and children. The stock included clothing, footwear and sports accessories.

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