- Kristopher Fraser |
Struggling French retailer Vivarte has announced a round of massive layoffs at various chains. The cuts will include 1,344 jobs at La Halle, 105 at Andre, and 32 at Kookai. Out of the 608 stores they own, 197 stores will shutter their doors, including 23 that were transferred to other banners of the group. Footwear brand Andre is laying off ten percent of their staff, while Kookai's layoffs will mostly be in support functions.
La Halle will obviously be facing the biggest impact from the cuts. Vivarte will now be focusing on what to do in order to ensure that their remaining Vivarte stores thrive. They intend to focus on their high position stores while re-positioning on their low-end segment in order to appeal to their suburban clientele. In addition to revamping their strategy for the stores, Vivarte also plans on developing e-commerce across their brands.
Between their multiples brands, which also include Caroll, Naf Naf, and Cosmoparis just to name a few, Vivarte employees approximately 20,000 people and has around 4,500 stores. Vivarte's biggest challenge is battling the tough economic climate in Europe, as well as their own debt situation. Sales dropped to 3.6 billion in 2014, and they also entered an agreement with their creditors to drop their debts down to 2.7 billion dollars. The agreement will now cause Vivarte to be owned by 12 lenders.
The new owners removed Marc Lelandais as Chairman and CEO, and replaced him with Richard Simon in October 2014. Simonin has quite a challenge on his hands now with trying to turn Vivarte around. It might be a tough job, but, hopefully they can survive Europe's economic crisis.