DIY retailer bauMax is considering closing down its stores in Eastern Europe, including the units it has in Romania, according to the German newspaper “Die Presse”, quoted by economica.net.
bauMax’s losses doubled in 2012, from EUR 47.2 million to EUR 126 million. The loss was generated mainly from Romania (EUR 26 million) and Turkey (EUR 14 million).
Karheins Essle, the bauMax founder, announced he intends to sell his famous art collection (7,000 objects of art and famous paintings) to the Austrian government for the price of EUR 86 million. The money would be used to save the jobs of bauMax’s employeed in Austria (4,000 out of a total of 9,000 that bauMax employs worldwide). What will happen with foreign branches hasn’t been revealed.
“Operations in each country will be revised. We may close one or two branches”, Karheinz Essl said.
In the interview for “Die Press”, Essl mentioned that bauMax’s expansion in Eastern Europe wasn’t managed properly. At the time, bauMax has 66 locations in Austria, 24 in the Czech Republic, 14 in Slovakia, 15 in Hungary, 4 in Slovenia, 7 in Croatia, 15 in Romania, 8 in Bulgaria and 7 in Turkey.
The Romanian DIY market underwent major changes this year. Kingfisher, the biggest retailer of this domain in Europe, bought 15 Bricostore units from the french company Bresson. Search Chemicals, owned by Turkish business man Omer Susly, took over Praktiker’s network in Romania, after the parent-company went insolvent. It’s not all good news though, as OBI announced last week it will “reassess” it’s operations in Romania.