On 16th of October 2010 one of the most iconic department stores in the country, ‘De Bijenkorf‘, was acquired by Selfridges Group, family run business and owner of Selfridges & Co and other top notch department stores.
At the time I read that the new owner wanted to make ‘De Bijenkorf’ more attractive to the tourist with money that come to visit Amsterdam. The store has always been nice and pretty upmarket, but I guess never expensive enough for the Nouveau Riche from Russia and China. This target group does visit Amsterdam but doesn’t spend its money at the store. So a major overhaul is on it’s way.
As I hadn’t visited the store for a long time I decided to have a look. I was amazed at how much work had been done in such a short time. Selfridges made it clear that the store is being upgraded to fit in with high end department stores around Europe.
There are now shop-in-shops by Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci, etc. Before the overhaul these brands only had a store in one particular street, ‘PC Hooftstraat‘, where all the big luxury brands have found their Amsterdam home. A street you have to know where to look to find it. Now that these brands are being clustered it’s much easier for the wealthy tourists to spend the money under one roof, no more need to go from door to door.
I’m really curious how the rest of the store will change. So far I like it.
As I was in need of new Nespresso cups and too stingy to pay the postage and packing I went to the Nespresso shop-in-shop in ‘De Bijenkorf’ today as I was also too lazy to go the Nespresso Boutique, located in the street I mentioned earlier.
Moving up the escalator I got a smile on my face when I heard a PA message in Chinese about tax free shopping.
They really mean business!
(Image: Damsquare with the iconic building 1928 on the left. Image source: Amsterdam Cityarchive)