Deen’s supermarkets were a household name in North Holland, and ‘Not a Day Without Deen’ was a popular statement. But this year, after 88 years, the family business ended. Deen is just one of the many well-known brands that found its Waterloo this year.
From our editors
December 30, 2021
Richard Otto and Robbert van Loon, authors of the book Verdwenen Merken and the website VerdwenenMerken.nl, look at the stories behind these brands. For brands do not always disappear through acquisitions or bankruptcies, but also through exciting intrigue and personal feuds. It is therefore their mission not to let the most beautiful Dutch brands disappear from our collective memory. This is their selection of the most beautiful Dutch disappearing brands and stories for 2021.
Nails disappear from the scene, or not
The brand that has undoubtedly sold the fewest but most coveted products from this entire list during its existence. Spyker Cars was a Dutch manufacturer of exclusive sports cars with the beautiful motto “nulla tenaci invia est via”. The translation from Latin; “No road is impassable for endurance.” Volhouders also needed the brand because the creditors have been after entrepreneur Victor Muller (see photo above) for some time. He devoted himself for years to keeping the brand afloat, despite the fact that it has not produced a car for more than 10 years.
Despite the fact that Spyker NV was declared bankrupt this year, Muller has already proven more than once that Spyker has not just given up. Whether the brand disappears permanently or returns in another form remains to be seen in the coming years, but so far we anticipate that we will see Spyker more in history than in the future.
Read also: Thijs Verheul sold his business: ‘Everyone thinks it’s fun to run a business, but it’s not’
The relationship planet died
In times of distance and social bubbles, dating is a bit of a downturn. This was also noticed by Relatieplanet.nl, once the largest dating platform in the Netherlands with 1.1 million accounts in 2005. However, it was not only corona restrictions that killed the brand this year.
The brand has for years had tough competition from popular, often also free, apps like Inner Circle, Tinder and Happn. And although the Dutch dating market is estimated at tens of thousands of millions of euros, the piece of cake became too small for Relatieplanet. The love between brand and users seemed to be over for a while and the number of users had already dropped to only 75,000 in 2019. On July 1, all profiles were deleted and the site went offline.
An old-fashioned family business that has been overtaken by time. After 88 years, the family at the beginning of this year came to the conclusion that the brand should invest (too) much in the coming years to make the chain future-proof. For example, it lagged behind other supermarket brands in online and logistics. The family did not like this investment, so the shops were put up for sale.
Albert Heijn, Vomar Voordeelmarkt and DekaMarkt attracted a diverse group of buyers. Of the eighty DEEN stores, 38 have been transformed into Albert Heijn, 23 into Vomar and 19 into DekaMarkt. At the end of November, the last DEEN branch in Heemskerk closed, and the former slogan ‘not a day without a Deen’ is definitely no longer valid.
Also read: After 88 years, the Deen supermarket disappears from the streets; conversion stores started
KRAS Travel just does not reach centuries
After two years of travel restrictions, it comes as no surprise that the first brands have also flown out into the travel industry. The travel agency KRAS Reizen, founded in 1922 by Johan Kras, is such a brand. The brand was already taken over by the German travel giant TUI in 1999, but they still let the strong brand KRAS turn 99 years old.
This year, however, TUI found it necessary to focus only on its own brand in the future, in order to reduce costs and increase its own efficiency. In recent years, KRAS has mainly offered international group travel, but in the distant past it was still known as a line carriage that brought soldiers from the army to the bases in West Germany and workers from Brabant to the ports of Rotterdam.
Route Mobile does not reach the finish line
Founder Michiel Muller’s brand, which from 2004 aimed to drive the ANWB market leader into the wheels, has ceased after 15 years at the beginning of this year. Route Mobiel offered the same services as the well-known Wegenwacht, but much cheaper. To keep this profitable, the brand chose a construction where it no longer went on the road with its own vehicles and mechanics, but made use of a network of existing car salvage and repair shops. In the event of a crash on the road, your car was then towed to a nearby workshop to be repaired there while ANWB mechanics try to fix as much as possible on site.
From the very first marketing campaign, Route Mobiel chose the frontal attack on the ANWB. A backlash was therefore inevitable. She described Route Mobile as little more than a towing service. It also came to a lawsuit between the two because the house style and color scheme on Route Mobie was very similar to ANWB.
Route Mobiel, on the other hand, claimed that ANWB had all sorts of hidden costs. For example, by default you were ‘fixed’ for a subscription to the ANWB magazine Kampioen. A magazine that, according to Route Mobiel, ‘nobody’ would read and therefore cost you unnecessarily. After many years of bragging and struggle, Route Mobiel has now been quietly accommodated and cleaned up by the (new) owner Nationale Nederlanden.
Curious about more missing brands? Here you can read the 11 biggest missing brands in 2021.
Also read: The key to success: how Michiel Muller continues to conquer city by city with Picnic