Pimkie: new management plans to close 64 shops and cut 257 jobs
Pimkie's restructuring was expected, and now it is official. The women's retailer was sold at the beginning of 2023 by the Mulliez family to a trio including jeans specialist, Lee Cooper France, socks manufacturer, Kindy and Turkish supplier, Ibisler Tekstil. Pimkie is now subject to a savings plan for the period of 2023 to 2027, "to accelerate its transformation and guarantee its profitability in the long term" in the face of "a drop in footfall and sales in certain shops", its new owners said in a press release. In France, 64 shops will close and 257 jobs may be lost.
The clothing chain's staff were informed of this plan on March 29 during an information-consultation meeting with the CSE. "Pimkie intends to conduct an in-depth social dialogue and will do its utmost to offer solutions to help the employees concerned reposition themselves, thanks to internal redeployment measures and personalised support for the development of external professional projects," the company states.
Today, Pimkie employs around 1,500 people and has 302 shops in France (including almost 80 affiliated stores), 37 outlets in Germany and 26 in Spain.
The consortium at the head of Pimkie says it has "the will to put Pimkie on a long-term project, based on a healthy structure that has been debt-free since its acquisition. In order to adapt to its rapidly changing business sector and to meet long-term structural challenges, Pimkie is now embarking on a transformation plan aimed at gradually adjusting its organisation and gaining in agility."
The company's strategic plan also includes the desire to modernise its offer and image, to transform its IT, to be more efficient on the supply chain side, to improve its commercial performance by supporting its sales staff, and finally to implement a CSR policy.
Become once again one of the top three favourite brands of 18-25 year olds
"While our sector is going through a major crisis, we are redefining our model and our vision. I have confidence in this model and in our employees to reaffirm Pimkie's position in French ready-to-wear, in the top three favourite brands of women aged 18 to 25", says Sandrine Lilienfeld, appointed a few weeks ago as Pimkie's general manager.
According to trade union sources, the sale operation would have involved the creation of a structure by AFM (the Mulliez family's holding company) to "finance this social plan, investments and forthcoming bank payments", with an estimated budget of 250 million euros.
Founded in 1971 and based in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, in the North of France, Pimkie achieved a turnover of 194 million euros in 2020, marked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2018, the company had already undergone a restructuring plan, resulting in the loss of more than 200 jobs (via a voluntary redundancy plan) and the closure of 37 shops in France.
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