De Bijenkorf to sell only sustainable brands by 2025

Dutch department store de Bijenkorf aims to sell only more brands that incorporate sustainability practices by 2025. The company says it is the first department store in the world to set the goal.

“We want to be a destination for a more sustainable lifestyle,” said de Bijenkorf Sustainable Business Head Justin Pariag.

De Bijenkorf Buying Director Nynke Gijzel said the retailer has been in talks with brands for the past four years regarding sustainability efforts.

She added: “For brands that don’t do this, in the end, we need to exit those brands. We have been talking with brands for the past four years and identifying risks in supply chain.” She noted that many of the retailer’s partners have the same vision when it comes to sustainability goals.

The company also highlighted its new sustainably positioned distribution center in Tilburg in the Netherlands. It has a new automatic packaging machine that packs for size and results in less “air” being shipped, Pariag said.

International & online expansion

The retailer also said that it will launch a new online personal shopping service in France later this year. Customers will be able to get in touch with a personal shopper located at a de Bijenkorf store in the Netherlands. The service will help customers shop for fashion and beauty online. Although employees will be based in stores in the Netherlands, the service will be in French.

As reported, de Bijenkorf opened an online store in France last November. The retailer also has online shops in Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. It has seven physical stores in the Netherlands.

Its online stores carry more than 1,000 brands across categories, including fashion, beauty and accessories.

The retailer says it distinguishes its online presence by featuring exclusive offers, as well as brands and services that customers cannot find elsewhere online.

Additionally, the retailer’s online shops feature tools intended to help customers shop sustainably. For example, products that reach the retailer’s sustainability standards feature a green bee illustration.

Talking about current sales trends in beauty, De Bijenkorf Beauty Buying Manager Eefje Luuring said that while skincare and haircare were more popular over the past year during the pandemic, make-up is booming again. Both online and in-store the retailer is seeing increased demand for the category, as lockdown measures ease in some European countries and more consumers prepare for social events.