The Belgian Blokker stores were already losing money when the Dutch businessman Dirk Bron took them over in February this year. Mr Bron wanted to turn the stores into discount shops and gave his new retail venture the name Mega World. Mega World sells excess stock of items such as clothing, toys, and household goods at knock-down prices.
Straight away questions were raised about the viability of the project. The unions and others asked to see a business plan, but this was not forthcoming.
The first lockdown came just a month after Mega World’s launch and its 123 stores remained closed from mid-March until early May. This brought the chain into financial difficulty.
In early October Mega World’s management came up with a recovery plan that focused on bringing down costs. No shops would be closed and no one was to have lost their job.
Mega World asked the Commercial Court for protection against its creditors, but this was refused. The court appointed two administrators whose job it was to investigate the viability of a possible relaunch.
The administrators concluded that there was no future for Mega World and asked for the chain to be declared bankrupt. This request was heeded at Tuesday morning Commercial Court hearing.