The Fast Retailing France group, a subsidiary of the Japanese giant of the same name, announced on Monday that it was considering the closure of 55 stores of the Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse Tam Tam clothing brands out of 136 in France, as well as the elimination of 304 jobs.
The announcement of this "project to overhaul the distribution strategy" and "reorganization of the network of points of sale" was made on May 23 to the representative bodies of the staff of the two brands, the group told AFP. confirming information from the specialized site FashionNetwork.
Comptoir des Cotonniers (women's clothing) and Princesse Tam Tam (lingerie) are owned by Fast Retailing France, an entity of the Japanese textile giant whose flagship brand is Uniqlo. The objective of the plan is to "continue to adapt Fast Retailing France to changes in the clothing market and to stem the serious difficulties encountered by the company and its subsidiaries in order to ensure their sustainability", according to the group. “The situation today is such that it no longer allows Fast Retailing France to continue without risking compromising its future and that of its brands. Especially since no prospect of a real recovery is envisaged, ”says the group. Regarding Comptoir des Cotonniers, the project provides for the closure of 28 points of sale out of the 67 currently operated in France, and the elimination of 101 positions out of 272 permanent contracts.
For Princesse Tam Tam, the closure of 27 points of sale out of 69 is planned, as well as the elimination of 84 positions out of 235 permanent contracts. To this is added the elimination of 119 positions within Fast Retailing France “in order to adapt the workforce to the reorganization of the distribution network but also to reduce its oversizing”. In Uniqlo stores, a brand that "benefits from strong appeal", the group plans to set up "corners" offering Princess Tam Tam and Comptoir des Cotonniers items, and announces "in the near future, in major cities , a new store concept combining » the offer of the two brands. The project also aims to "accelerate" online sales. “The objective is to close the closures (of shops) by August 2024, but the support for employees will be done over a longer period”, specified the group.
Negotiations concerning this reorganization plan "are in progress", and "the objective is to limit its impact on employees and dismissals as much as possible" via "a very comprehensive social support system which would include in particular proposals for reclassification in within the group and a voluntary departure plan", according to the group. “To support employees whose departure could not be avoided, appropriate support measures for external redeployment should also be put in place (training, assistance with business creation, redeployment leave, etc.), he detailed.
The ready-to-wear sector in France has been shaken for several months by a violent crisis, which resulted in particular in the liquidation of Camaïeu in September 2022 and the placements in receivership at the beginning of this year of Go Sport and GapFrance. Kookai also announced the closure of 20 stores, while the shoemaker San Marina (650 employees) was placed in compulsory liquidation.