The brand, which has 232 own stores and 81 affiliated stores for 1,500 employees, has been experiencing difficulties for more than a decade.
The Mulliez family association (AFM) is looking for a buyer for its women’s ready-to-wear brand Pimkie, which has been experiencing difficulties for more than a decade, according to management and unions on Monday, confirming information from the specialized media Fashion Network. “The current shareholder is looking for an external shareholder solution and is giving himself several months to do this research and find the best possible solutionPimkie’s communication to AFP on Monday said.
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Pimkie, which has 232 own stores and 81 affiliated stores for 1,500 employees, had achieved nearly 200 million euros in sales in 2020. The brand founded in 1971 had appointed Philippe Favre, manager specializing in the management of companies in difficulty, as Chief Executive Officer. With this arrival, the employees expected to “a business turnaround with restructuring, certainly store closures“, explained to AFP on Monday Karine Therage, store manager in Noyelles-Godault in Pas-de-Calais, elected to the CSE and union representative CFE-CGC. But last week,the announcement was made on the search for a potential shareholder“, she continues. “Pimkie is therefore for sale and there would be a specification: they have withdrawn the possibility of a pension fund, they are looking for a shareholder who could give the company a future“.
“It is the employees who are hurt”
The union fears that the buyer will follow the path traced by Philippe Favre, providing for store closures. “We think it’s a shame that it’s the buyer and not the Mulliez family who does the dirty work. We feel left out“, still laments Karine Therage. “From 1970 to the 2000s, Pimkie was a flourishing company which contributed to the growth of other companies in the Mulliez galaxy. It almost feels like a betrayal.»
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Since the beginning of the 21st century, the brand has suffered from the textile crisis, which has hurt many once flourishing groups in the clothing sector, such as André, Camaieu or La Halle for example. On its Facebook page, the CFDT is concerned that the sale process “call the whole +business plan+ into question“, leaving the field open to the new buyer, which is “an additional source of anxiety for employees“.
Unsa observes for its part that “the Mulliez group wishes to separate from the textile brands” and “the investment requested for the turnaround of Pimkiedissuaded these shareholders from following this path. “Once again, it is the employees who are hurt, who are being driven crazy but are asked to stay motivated, to continue working as if nothing had happened.“Finally regrets the CGT Pimkie, also on Facebook.
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