The historical department store Vroom & Dreesmann (V&D) went bankrupt. Drugstore Van der Pigge is still there.
Vroom & Dreesman and its former “store palace” have left their mark on the history of Haarlem. Once, ten years before the Second World War, the building was the tallest building in Haarlem. The two entrepreneurs foresaw then that the Grote Houtstraat and the new “skyscaper” would have become the shopping hart Haarlem.
Hopefully the building will have soon a new purpose. Although V&D was selling less and less, restaurant La Place and the rough terrace were a big crowd puller.
Look at the photo below, this is one of the best views of Haarlem.
Not the whole shopping complex has closed however. No, a small family company was able to survive the crisis: the little drugstore Van der Pigge. The story is known: V&D wanted to expand and buy the little shop of Van der Pigge to incorporate it in the big department store. Van der Pigge did not submit to the expansionism of Vroom & Dreesmann and continued selling his own products in his own little building according to his own strategy. The triumph of Van der Pigge big is now even bigger: he survived the massive neighbor again.
I regret the loss of V&D but would regret even more the one of Van der Pigge. I really love that family drugstore. Ancient, beautiful, brave, good furnished, fair, professional, where nostalgy meets modern needs. Time to go there for my “drop” and “sauna-olie”.