DOUGLAS TO BUY YASKA CHAIN
Byline: Melissa Drier
Hagen, Germany — The Douglas Group has bought the 100-door Yaska perfumery chain, effective Jan. 2, 2000.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Yaska purchase was part of a double transaction in which Douglas sold its Drospa drugstore chain to Ihr Platz GmbH & Co., Osnabruck and acquired, in turn, Ihr Platz’s Yaska perfumery business. Both transactions require the approval of the German anti-trust commission.
The 100 Yaska perfumeries are primarily small-scale shops. They are located in small- and middle-sized towns in Germany in which Douglas is not yet represented, according to a Douglas statement, and “can therefore be integrated into the Douglas branch network with little difficulty.” In 1998, Yaska generated sales of about $86 million. (Dollar figures are converted from German marks at current exchange.)
Operating 400 Douglas Parfumeries domestically, Douglas is already the undisputed German market leader. However, the Douglas Group’s 250 door Drospa drugstore division, like Yaska, “did not have the branch structure or size to maintain its position in the market in the long term,” the company said.
With the addition of Drospa, which had annual sales of about $365 million last year, the Ihr Platz drugstore chain will now be the third largest in Germany. Ihr Platz currently operates 650 stores, and with the acquisition is expected to generate sales of about $1.15 billion.
The 100 Drospa doors in Berlin will will continue to operate under that name; the stores elsewhere will be transformed into Ihr Platz branches over the next two years.
Douglas said the decision to sell Drospa underscores the Group’s strategy to focus more strongly on lifestyle-oriented specialty stores. The Group said it plans to use the funds from the sale for further expansion in Europe outside of Germany, and to build up its e-commerce activities.
In addition to perfumeries, the Douglas Group also has apparel retail operations including Werdin, Appelrath-Cupper, Sport Voswinkel and a majority stake in Biba, plus Christ Jewelers as well as numerous bookstores, confiseries and cafes. In the first nine months of 1999, the Group generated sales of about $1.7 billion, up 5.8% for the period. Douglas Parfumeries, with 600 doors worldwide, had nine month sales of about $735 million, up 10.7% or 6.7% on a same-store basis.