According to Dutch media reports, major Netherlands book chain Polare has just lost its protracted struggle against closure and declared bankruptcy, although those same media reports indicate that the chain’s outlets will remain open for now, since they can be sold off more readily on that basis. Some former employees are already reportedly looking to buy out their own branches, while the Polare website appears to now be permanently offline.
Polare has only operated under its present identity for less than a year, since June 2013, uniting the former 16-store Selexyz (previously Boekhandels Groep Nederland/BGN) chain and 26-store second-hand/discount De Slegte chains. The chain’s current identity was the result of its previous financial difficulties, when Netherlands investment company ProCures bought out the Selexyz chain and merged it with De Slegte. The chain then struggled against declining book sales, with jobs being cut at various stages of the restructuring/merger process.
Apparently one of the key instigators in the final shuttering of the company was the Netherlands dominant book distributor, the Centraal Boekhuis, which cited unpaid charges. The current bankruptcy was apparently required to secure unpaid wages for staff. Polare’s Belgian units are said to be still in operation.