InterviewThe Hema is carefully crawling out of the valley again. The store chain is making a profit again after the company suffered enormous losses for years, says top woman Saskia Egas Reparaz. But there is still a lot of work to be done, she warns, to make the Hema the store again for beautiful products for an affordable price. Not only the finances had to improve, but also the socks, the cheese slicer and the extension cords.
Hema has been relieved of a huge debt burden since the takeover by the entrepreneurial family Van Eerd (owner of Jumbo) and investment company Parcom. For years, that debt and the associated interest payments were the chain’s biggest problem, a painful legacy of multiple owners and failures. The takeover has brought Hema back into calmer waters. Hema made a profit of 1.3 million euros in 2021. That was a loss of almost 200 million euros in 2020.
In addition, money has been released to invest. Under the leadership of the new chairman of the board Egas Reparaz, a new course has been set, whereby Hema must once again become the store of the past with good quality items for an affordable price. The quality of typical Hema products such as socks, rompers and also the cheese slicer is being overhauled. ,,Prefer less varieties, but then the best sock. That’s good for the world and your wallet,” said Egas Reparaz. In addition, a better website is being worked on, the stores will be refreshed in the near future and the collaboration with Jumbo will become closer by experimenting with supermarket assortment in the department stores.
Egas Raparaz judged in her first year that Hema had become ‘slow’ due to too many managers and too little contact with consumers and the workplace. It has been cut. The work aimed at the stores in Spain and England is also disappearing. Hema decided to focus on the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. At the head office, 30 to 40 of the 650 jobs will disappear.
Read the full interview with Egas Raparaz below the photo.
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