America Today goes independent in management takeover

America Today is to become independent of Royal Vendex KBB. The assets will be sold to the management of America Today at book value. The sale will have no consequences for the workforce of the chain, which comprises some 150 employees. The relevant works council has been asked for advice.

America Today is a life-style format targeting young people, with sixteen outlets in the Netherlands and one in Belgium (Antwerp). Net sales amount to circa 17 million euro; operating income is slightly negative. In addition to own label articles, the collection consists largely of American branded garments.

Footwear, accessories, gadgets and American food (candies and drinks) are also sold. Besides the wellknown international brands the collection includes ´toppers´ familiar on the main streets and campuses of America, such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Triple 5 Soul, which in the Netherlands are sold exclusively by America Today. Two America Today stores have introduced a children´s concept, selling such brands as Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, O´Neill, Polo Jeans and Jeep.

The sale of America Today is in line with Vendex KBB´s strategy to streamline the portfolio of retail formats and to give prominence to formats that have strong market positions and the potential for expansion in Europe. Pursuant to this strategy Vendex KBB earlier this year sold ten retail formats to Retail Network, part of the international investment company CVC.

America Today currently belongs to the Fashion business unit. After the sale, this business unit will consist of the internationally oriented fashion formats M&S Mode, Hunkemöller and Claudia Sträter. Considering the size of America Today the divestment will have no material impact on the sales and results of Vendex KBB. It is expected that the transaction will result in a slight positive cashflow and a small book loss over the current fiscal year.

(source: Royal Vendex KBB N.V.)

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