Dutch retail giant Vendex has parachuted new management into department store chain Vroom & Dreesmann to cap spiralling operating losses that are expected to hit EUR 30 million to EUR 50 million (£20.7 million to £34.5 million) this year.

V&D's sales contracted by 5 per cent in April, May and June, as uplifts in fashion categories failed to counteract declines in cosmetics, CDs, stationery and sports goods. Turnover was also hit by the axing of budget market areas and space lost to renovations.

A Vendex spokesman said the process of recovery at V&D had 'yielded insufficient results'. The department store's top brass has been slimmed down from five to four, with two high-profile internal appointments from sister chain Hema.

Hema chairman Dirk Goeminne and operations director Eugene Randag will assume the same roles at V&D. Current directors Ed Maessen, Carel Paardekooper and Ron Steenvoorden have tendered their resignations.

Edward Whitefield, chairman of retail consultancy Management Horizons Europe, said the Hema management team had successfully overhauled the middle-market homewares chain since taking the helm five years ago.

Improvements introduced include a simplified merchandise mix and supply chain changes to better manage the flow of goods to stores.

Whitefield said few department stores are making money in Europe. 'El Corte Ingles in Spain really dominates the market. It's not quite a Selfridges business, but it's certainly an emporium for brands,' he said.

Royal Vendex KBB

Retail presence in: Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Germany and France

Net sales: approximately EUR 4.5 billion (£3.1 billion)

Employees: approximately 45,000

Outlets: 1,650.