:"C&A is also an abbreviation for the Camden and Amboy Railroad".

C & A is an international chain of clothing stores, with its head office in Brussels and Düsseldorf. It has branches in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. Its brands include Clockhouse, Westbury and Your Sixth Sense. The company was founded by brothers Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer in 1841 in the Netherlands as a textile company, taking its name from their initials.

For many years C&A stores were also a major presence on high streets in the United Kingdom. However, the company's strategy of selling budget clothes from high-rent city centre stores made it vulnerable to a new breed of competitors operating in cheaper, out-of-town locations; these included Matalan and the rapidly expanding clothing operations of supermarket chains such as Tesco and ASDA, as well as expanding high street names such as H&M, Zara and Topshop.

In 2000, C&A announced its intention to withdraw from the British market and the last UK stores closed in 2001 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/792028.stm 2000 The withdrawal of C&A from the United Kingdom] , "BBC News"] . The company faces similar problems in mainland Europe, and has recently tried to reinvent itself, by improving the quality, and hence the cost, of its clothing in an attempt to rid itself of its low-budget image. Ironically, the Primark chain has now become a major success in the UK using a retail formula similar to that which did not work for C&A. This is possibly due to the established image of the C&A brand which had come to be regarded as "Cheap & Awful".Fact|date=July 2008

The Brenninkmeijer family still owns the company and its success has led the Brenninkmeijers to become the richest family in the Netherlands.

ee also

* European Retail Round Table


External links

* [http://www.c-and-a.com/ C&A]

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