HEMA will pay less rent in consultation with the landlords in April and May, the company confirms on Wednesday after reports by Het Financieele Dagblad ( FD ).
The group emphasizes that continuity is not jeopardized in the short term. HEMA is obliged to take this measure in order to guarantee long-term business operations.
According to HEMA, landlords understand the situation and have said they would rather receive less rent than postpone payments.
According to the FD , the chain achieved a third less turnover due to the coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands. Two hundred locations have even been closed abroad. According to the business newspaper, HEMA spends about 13 million euros on rent every month.
Staff are also reportedly called upon. For example, the planned periodic salary increase is postponed in consultation with the unions and employees no longer receive a fixed travel allowance. From now on they have to declare their trips and only get those costs back.
Nine thousand HEMA employees live in the Netherlands
According to the FD , HEMA will also use government schemes that pay companies up to 90 percent in their wages. About nine thousand of the company's eleven thousand employees work in the Netherlands.
The retail chain has been financially unhealthy for some time. For example, the company is struggling with high debts, which do not seem to be repaid. Last December, rating agency Moody's downgraded HEMA's rating for the same reason. At the time, the credit agency also predicted that the chain would face a difficult time.
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The coronavirus in short
- The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
- You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
- An infected person infects two to three others on average. Precautions are necessary to contain this.
- The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
- Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
- Read here what precautions you should take.