Pimkie Belgium is closing down its 24 stores: the company has filed for bankruptcy. The 136 members of staff have not received their wages for March and will lose their job. The bankruptcy comes as a surprise to them.
"Leaving a sour taste"
On Monday, 29 March, Pimkie Belgium's management held an exceptional works council to announce the company had filed for bankruptcy. The court in Tournai declared bankruptcy on Tuesday, 30 March, according to trade union ACV Puls. Pimkie has 24 stores in Belgium and employs 136 people.
The management referred to the decline in turnover over the past few years and the impact of the pandemic. However, the announcement came as a shock to the employees. There were never any signs in the social concertation that bankruptcy was imminent.
Pimkie (Belsay NV) is part of the French family retail group Mulliez, the group behind Auchan, Decathlon, Kiabi, Krëfel, 3 Suisses, Midas, Auto 5, and many other companies. "This leaves a very bitter taste in the mouths of the workers. Their wages for March have not been paid and their severance packages are being passed on to the fund for company closures", says Jörgen Meulders of ACV Puls.
''There is an urgent need for European legislation surrounding these type of bankruptcies so that the costs are not simply passed on to the Belgian taxpayers. The group structures behind those companies must be held responsible for their commitments to employees.''
Pimkie has more than 600 stores in Europe, half of which are in France. The fashion chain also recently had to close stores in Germany and Spain, and other countries.