This article was last updated on September 14, 2023
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Electronics chain BCC is on the verge of collapse
Electronics chain BCC is on the verge of collapse as the owner, Mirage Retail Group, has applied for deferment of payment at the Amsterdam court. This deferment of payment is often seen as a precursor to bankruptcy. The company cites “continued and increasingly tough market conditions” as the reason for its financial challenges.
Two administrators will be tasked with exploring the future options for BCC activities in the near future, according to the chain’s statement. Despite the request for deferment, BCC’s stores and webshop will remain open, and the company will continue to deliver and install products for customers. Additionally, employees will retain their jobs and salaries. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, at least two BCC stores in Amsterdam are temporarily closed.
Challenges in the market and changing revenue model
In an interview with the FD, Mirage Retail owner Michiel Witteveen highlighted the challenges faced by BCC. He stated that BCC’s revenue model is no longer sustainable, noting that expenses such as rent, wages, and energy have all increased. In order to generate profits, higher margins are necessary, but major suppliers have refused to cooperate. Furthermore, consumers are spending less on electronics.
BCC, one of the largest electronics chains in the Netherlands, operates 56 stores and employs around a thousand individuals. The company primarily competes with retail chains like Coolblue, bol.com, and MediaMarkt.
Financial struggles and impact of the pandemic
Mirage Retail Group purchased BCC from a French company in 2020. However, Witteveen revealed that BCC has been facing financial difficulties for several years. Factors such as the corona pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and high inflation have further weakened the company’s financial position.
The corona pandemic has significantly impacted BCC’s balance sheet. The company was unable to access corona support programs and now carries a tax debt of 30 million euros. Even before the pandemic, BCC was operating at a loss. In 2021, the company incurred a loss of 21 million euros with a turnover of 424 million euros.
In an attempt to address these financial challenges, BCC has implemented cost-cutting measures and undergone significant restructuring in recent years. For instance, in May, a quarter of head office positions were eliminated. Mirage Retail Group has also tried to sell BCC, but these efforts have been unsuccessful thus far.