The French Mulliez family, which owns chains like Decathlon and Krëfel, is looking for a buyer for its fashion chain Pimkie. This is a rather surprising turn of events, as the owner had only recently appointed a crisis manager to turn around the ailing chain.
Costs are too high
The French retail holding company is looking for a buyer for its Pimkie chain, which currently has 232 own shops, 81 franchise shops and 1,500 employees. However, the brand has been going through difficult times for years: only a year ago, it still had more than 600 shops. However, since then the Belgian, Austrian and Swiss shops have been closed and in Germany, Spain and Portugal a reduced shop count has been franchised.
In January this year, Philippe Favre was appointed crisis manager, having already led a reorganisation of the brand in 2018. However, in consultation with the Mulliez family, he has already thrown in the towel: the investments required to get the company back on track are so large that the owner does not even want to start the process.
Betrayal or salvation?
Now the search for an external shareholder begins. Pimkie hopes to find a buyer within the next few months: an agreement should be reached by the end of the year, the company and the unions told FashionNetwork.
However, the staff have little confidence. They expected Favre to propose redundancies and shop closures, but now the whole company seems to be in danger. They fear that a new owner will certainly go through the company with a fine-tooth comb. The employees find it cowardly that the owner Mulliez does not take responsibility. “We feel it almost like a betrayal,” they told BFM.