Monday, January 23, 2017

André, La Halle, Kookaï… a Chronicle of the dismantling announced Vivarte – The World

The French group, specialized in ready-to-wear and shoes, must submit on Monday its plan of action to straighten her critical financial situation.

World | • updated | By

employees of Vivarte protest in front of the ministry of economy, Paris, January, 5.

The same day, to 14 hours, a group committee should assist the president-director general Patrick Puy to submit a plan of action to stem the descent to the underworld that lives Vivarte, leaded by a debt of 1.3 billion euros. The grounds for hope seem slim.

also Read : C & A, The Halle, Marks & Spencer… brands in traditional clothing are in crisis

initially, this committee had to clarify a number of points relating to the closure of 132 stores The Halle aux chaussures, confirmed in mid-November, and reveal the names of potential buyers for Kookaï, Chevignon and Pataugas recently put on sale. But the picture is still clouded, there are a dozen days when The Halle aux clothing, André and Vivarte Services were called to the central committee of the company, and THIS extraordinary, Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 January.

” All of these committees, planned on two days, foreshadowed the announcement of a backup plan of employment that you think massive “, summarises Jean-Louis Alfred of the CDFT. the ” In 2016 : 2 000 jobs will be lost and the brands sold. 2017 : sales of other brands with new PES [backup plan of employment] that promises to remove a further 2 000 jobs “ summed up the CFDT in its calls for mobilization.

  • La Halle aux shoes could close from new stores

The main concerns relate to The Halle aux shoes, with 680 stores employ 3 900 employees, because the sale confirmed in November of 132 stores could well be revised upwards. The unions the most “optimistic” talk about 150 shops and the most pessimistic of 200 or more.

For Michel Peyraga, the CFTC, approximately 400 jobs would be threatened. As to the future of the 132 shops in sale, for the moment, nothing seems to be to draw. ” Only 18 have sparked an interest on the part of potential buyers, but no commitments to date “, points out Karim Cheboub, of the CGT.

  • New restructuring with a view to The Halle aux clothing

All concerns to The Halle aux clothing (480 shops and 4 100 employees) that has already undergone a heavy restructuring. The convening of a CEC, Tuesday, 24 January, was received as a shock because ” after the loss of 250 stores and 1 500 employees in 2015 and 2016, we do not think that the new ads would address The Halle aux clothing “, continues Mr. Cheboub.

Patrick Puy could also decide to merge or at least strengthen the synergies between the two Markets (clothing and shoes), which would impact on the support functions (Vivarte employs 220 people) and on the logistics. Jobs administrative in duplicate would be deleted and ” without Pataugas, Chevignon and Kookaï and with a lower activity due to the closures of The Hall, there will be less mixing at the level of the deposit, less needs in terms of handling “, specifies Michel Peyraga.

  • A transfer of André likely

Finally, the case of André (750 employees) is moved by the personnel of the group : it was also the name of the banner before taking one of Vivarte, in 2001. On January 4, Europe 1 has reported that the sale of the flagship brand would be announced at the end of the month. The information, refuted then by the executive officer of Vivarte, seems more and more likely as much as Friday, January 20, the name of Christopher Descours, head of EPI group, owner of J. M. Weston and the grandson of Jean-Louis Descours, president of André from 1960 to 1996, was mentioned as a potential buyer by several trade unions.

also Read : Vivarte, a mode that does not pass

  • What would remain of the group after these disposals, and restructurings burst ?

A Hall unique emaciated, Minelli, San Marina, Naf Naf and Carroll. The appointment of Sandrine Lilienfeld at the head of the brand Caroll queries as observers. The return in the group of the former president of Naf Naf, past chez Gérard Darel (placed into receivership in 2015), casts doubt on the intentions of the management with regard to the one of the only brands to have managed to rejuvenate its image and its offer in order to attract a new clientele of quadras.

  • What to make of the 44 million aid paid in respect of the YEAR ?

In this context, to say the least complex, the unions – who expect a dismantling of the group – have prepared an alternative plan to that of Patrick Puy and plan to present it this afternoon, if the president of Vivarte confirms their fears. Even if their last appointment at Bercy, in mid-January, gave nothing compelling, they are also surfing to the end on the election period that seems favourable : the policies will have to take a position, they hope, to the magnitude of the case-social-planned by a group which would have, in addition, affected 44 million euros from the State for 2014, including 14 in 2016, the tax Credit competitive employment (CICE).


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