Two landmarks of the High Streets of Belgium – drugstore Di and perfume supermarket Planet Parfum – are no longer in Belgian hands, after their sale to the French holding company Jacques Bogart. Planet Parfum, a feature of the busier shopping centres, is owned by Distriplus, a joint venture between Ackermans & van Haaren and the NPM holding company owned by Belgium’s richest man, Albert Frère. Distriplus also owns the Di chain, which sells everything from beauty products to household cleaning supplies.
The group has more than 200 sales outlets in Belgium and Luxembourg, the majority of them Di. It employs around 1,000 staff, but despite sales of €192 million in 2017 is running at a loss, which it blames on the difficulties of the retail sector, in particular the growth of online shopping. Earlier this year it announced a loss for the first half of €10.7 million
Details of the deal with Bogart have not been revealed, but Ackermans has warned it will lead to a negative impact of €8.5 million in the results of the second half of the year.
The Jacques Bogart group, meanwhile, makes and sells perfume and luxury cosmetics, which will now find a broad range of outlets in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Distriplus set out to reassure its personnel that they would not suffer from the deal. “Even though the ownership is changing, nothing will change for staff, who will remain with the same employer and enjoy the same working conditions and pay,” said Distriplus CEO Matthias De Raeymaeker in a letter to branches.