Pimkie names Sandrine Lilienfeld as managing director
Sandrine Lilienfeld, an executive specialised in mid-range women’s fashion labels, has been appointed as the new managing director of Pimkie, as she announced on her LinkedIn profile. Lilienfeld, formerly at the head of Caroll and Camaïeu, will take charge of the French fashion retailer whose products are targeted to younger women, which was recently sold by the Mulliez family to a trio of investors consisting of Lee Cooper France (a denim specialist), Kindy (a socks manufacturer) and Ibisler Tekstil (a Turkish textile producer).
“I am delighted to accompany this French heritage label as it turns over a new page in its history, alongside its shareholder president Salih Halassi [CEO of Kindy],” wrote Lilienfeld, who managed Camaïeu for a few months in 2022, before the fashion retailer formerly owned by HPB went into liquidation.
Lilienfeld began her career in the 1990s, as a buyer at Galeries Lafayette, before spending 10 years at Etam, notably as head of purchasing. From 2004 to 2007, she was Kookaï's head of supply chain, then she joined Naf Naf as managing director, until 2013. Lilienfeld was then appointed CEO of Gérard Darel for two years, before holding the same position at Caroll from 2017 to 2021.
Pimkie is soon set to undergo a reorganisation in order to relaunch on the market. The company employs approximately 1,500 people and operates 232 directly owned stores in various European countries, as well as 81 franchised ones. The details of the restructuring plan that seems to be on the cards are not yet known, although trade union sources indicated to AFP in early February that it would involve closing down some 100 stores and cutting 450 to 500 jobs.
According to union sources, the terms of Pimkie’s sale include that AFM (the Mulliez family's holding company) will set up a financial entity “that will make it possible to fund the redundancy plan, plus investments and upcoming bank debt repayments,” to the tune of an estimated €250 million.
Pimkie underwent a restructuring in 2018, resulting in the loss of more than 200 jobs (via a plan of voluntary redundancies) and the closure of 37 stores in France. In the past, Pimkie used to operate up to 600 stores worldwide. The company was founded in 1971 and is based in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, in northern France, and in pandemic-stricken 2020 it generated a revenue of €194 million.
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