Though it rarely (if ever) attracts the kind of media attention lavished on rivals Zara or H&M, C&A is nonetheless one of the world's leading clothing retailers with around 1,500 stores in 21 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. It is best known for its European operations: it is still the #1 fashion chain store in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, but closed all its operations in the UK, once one of its most important territories, in 2000 after running up huge losses. Fashion labels under the C&A umbrella include Canda, Clockhouse, Westbury, Yessica and Angelo Litrico. Europe accounts for almost 1,200 of C&A's total global stores. Another key market is Brazil, where it is one of the country's two biggest fashion retailers. There are also outlets in Mexico and in China. The privately owned group maintained a significant presence in the US for several years, under the umbrella of the American Retail Group, before quitting that market in 2004. The Brenninkmeijer (or Brenninkmeyer) family who founded and still control the business have extensive investments in real estate and other industries in Europe and Asia through holding company COFRA, now based in Switzerland. Ownership is divided between some 50 descendants of original founders Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer, who established their first clothing store in Sneek, in the Netherlands, in 1861. Most members of the family are expected to serve in some capacity within the group, and many hold senior positions. Non-family member Giny Boer succeeded Edward Brenninkmeijer as CEO of C&A Europe in 2021. Boudewijn Beerkens, a member of the extended family, is CEO of COFRA. However, in a highly unusual development, the experienced British retail manager Allan Leighton (ex Asda, ex Co-op, ex Royal Mail) succeeded Martijn Brenninkmeijer as chairman of C&A in 2019, despite not being a family member. Though less secretive than it once was, the group still limits the amount of information it makes public. However, in a highly unusual move, C&A Brazil issued an IPO of part of its equity in 2019, a rare move into public ownership for the Brenninkmeijer family. C&A Europe is thought to have revenues of around €6bn, of which more than a third comes from Germany.
Capsule checked 23rd September 2021
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Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Mar 2016: Ads Of The Week: "Wake Up". Most British viewers will probably have forgotten the C&A brand, which fled our shores years ago, but remains huge in much of Europe, and especially in Brazil, where this stunning spot from AlmapBBDO originates. "Blend, dare, have fun" says the slogan, and this tribe of primitive streakers does exactly that.
Historical profile information for C&A
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