HEMA sentenced to suspend e-commerce contribution to franchisees

HEMA is in conflict with its franchisees about the contribution to e-commerce costs. HEMA believes that the existing scheme from 1997 is outdated. Until a few years ago, the contribution for e-commerce was always determined in close consultation with the franchisees. After that, no agreement was reached on the settlements. 

HEMA charges its franchisees a fee for e-commerce activities. HEMA settles these invoices with credit balances of the franchisees. The franchisees opposed this and requested that HEMA be ordered in summary proceedings to prohibit HEMA from taking collection measures with regard to e-commerce invoices. In short, the franchisees have argued that they have been unable to verify the figures on which the invoices are based, that they have indications that HEMA’s calculation is incorrect and that – as happened before – they jointly with HEMA paid the contribution. for e-commerce. Separate proceedings on the merits are also pending before the Amsterdam District Court. 

The court rules that it will have to be determined in the proceedings on the merits how the agreements on the contribution to e-commerce should be interpreted. Without anticipating the decision of the court on the merits, the provisional relief judge sees reason to order HEMA to suspend the settlement for the time being. Although it is questionable whether the assertions of the franchisees are correct, this cannot be ruled out by the preliminary relief judge. Moreover, the franchisees have already paid a substantial part of HEMA’s invoices and the court in the main proceedings is expected to pass judgment in the foreseeable future. HEMA is ordered not to take any collection measures for the time being regarding an alleged contribution to the costs of e-commerce. See the judgment of the District Court of Amsterdam of 6 March 2018, ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2018:1291. 

mr. AW Dolphin  – franchise lawyer 

Ludwig & Van Dam Franchise attorneys, franchise legal advice. Do you want to respond? Go to dolphijn@ludwigvandam.nl .

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