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Major European retailer ceases trading and looks set for bankruptcy


One of Europe’s biggest tackle retailers, Raven Hengelsport, has ceased operating and looks likely to go into bankruptcy.

Raven has worked with countless brands over the years and the news of its demise will reverberate around the industry. The shock news comes two years after long-time owner Dion Raven (below) told Angling International: “Our goal is to be the biggest in Europe and maybe beyond that.”

It is also less than nine months after the company announced it would be selling online in the UK, adding to its French webshop, four large stores in the Netherlands and a distribution centre in Dronten, central Netherlands.

Raven subsequently announced that he was leaving the company on May 1st, 2022, and would transfer his position as Director to his brother, Iwan. However, in a social media post on January 6th, Dion said: “It is with great sadness that […] Raven Hengelsport has closed the (digital) doors.”

And the message goes on to say that operations at the company’s four megastores – in Almelo, Lelystad, Steenwijk and Rijen – will be ‘forced to come to an end.’

The District Court of Central Netherlands on Wednesday appointed J.P. Davids of Davids Advocaten as administrator. Davids and the directors of Raven Hengelsport are now investigating the possible continuation of activities, but if no options are found the company will be declared bankrupt and the administrator appointed as receiver.

“Davids will then investigate whether a restart of activities is possible,” added Dion Raven. “Further information about the consequences of the suspension of payments (and bankruptcy if pronounced) will soon be announced on the website.”

The Raven business was started in 1974 by Sjoerd Raven as a pet shop in the garage of his home in Dronten. His sons, Dion and Iwan, joined the business, with Dion later becoming owner.

“The entire team of Raven Hengelsport would like to thank everyone for the great years,” said Dion Raven. “For almost 50 years we have enjoyed everyone we have received in our stores, webshops, fairs, distribution centre and head office.”

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