The Dutch-based Macintosh Retail Group, which became insolvent in December, has sold its Brantano chain of family shoe stores in Belgium and Luxembourg as well as 20 Dolcis shoe shops, 35 Manfield stores and its lower-priced Scapino shoe retail chain in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the less profitable Brantano chain in UK has been placed in administration, a form of bankruptcy protection from creditors.
Three Belgian retailers - Rens van de Schoor, Dieter Penninckx and Wouter Torfs - have formed a new company, Brantnew, that will take over the Belgian chain of 130 Brantano stores, which is said to be in healthy conditions. Van de Schoor owns the Dutch Miss Etam chain of fashion boutiques. Pennickx operates two other chains of fashion stores, Claudia Strater and Steps, through a company called FNG. Torfs owns the Schoenen Torfs chain of shoe shops.
A Dutch shoe retailer, Ziengs Schoenen, has agreed to acquire most of the 190 Scapino stores in the Netherlands, adding to its existing 77 shoe shops. A member of the family that owns the chain, Bernard Ziengs, had actually launched Scapino many years ago. Previously, Macintosh had sold its 24 Scapino stores in Belgium to another company, Fashion Market, that subsequently filed for insolvency and closed those stores late last year.
Another Dutch shoe retailer, Nelson Schoenen, is taking over 20 of Macintosh's 70 Dolcis stores in the country. Nelson owns 75 shoe shops trading under its own banner and operates 35 Ecco stores in the country.
Furthermore, between 35 and 40 of the 60 Manfield stores operated by Macintosh are set to fall under the ownership of Sacha, a shoe retailer with 75 stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
As previously reported, Macintosh had made a point of selling all its shoe retail operations in the U.K. - the British Brantano and Jones Bootmaker - in a single transaction to Alteri Investors for £12.3 million (€38.9m-$43.8m) last October. However, unlike the Belgian Brantano, which has not been affected by the insolvency proceedings of its parent company, the British Brantano has been losing money.
On Jan. 21, the investment fund put Brantano UK in administration, and PricewaterhouseCoopers is now looking for a new owner. More than 20 potential candidates have reportedly expressed interest in the acquisition of the whole chain of 140 family footwear stores and 60 concessions or parts of it. The more premium-priced Jones Bootmaker chain is said to be still doing well.
Macintosh still owns the Hoogenbosch Retail Group plus Invito, another Dutch chain of shoe shops that has not been covered by the insolvency proceedings, and a chain of lifestyle-oriented athletic footwear stores, Pro Sport. The group also runs various e-commerce operations, but its physical stores have suffered from the competition with bigger players in the digital field. In the discount segment, Macintosh's lower-priced chains have been challenged by the supermarket chains.