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Nov 21, 2014
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Bata France ceases payment

Nov 21, 2014

Closing France to save the world. In a way this is the decision that has been made by management of the company, founded 120 years ago in what is now the Czech Republic, concerning its French subsidiary. 

On Friday, the footwear and fashion accessory manufacturer and retailer decided to suspend payment for its French subsidiary, opening the door to insolvency proceedings. A decision that was made after a very recent change in president at Bata France. Indeed, since the beginning of November, a former executive of the major retailer, François Le Ménahèze, is running the show and thus in charge of discussions with the receiver.

The situation is undoubtedly so alarming that Bata has decided to not wait it out. Indeed, according to the numbers communicated by Bata in French newspaper Les Echos, the French subsidiary accumulated 30 million euros in operating losses in the last four years with 9 million in 2013 alone. While revenue stands at 91 million euros. Bata thus told Les Echos: "The parent company has decided to stop expenses to not put the rest of the activity around the world in danger."
Bata has 5,000 stores in the world, with 136 in France. Over the past few years, the chain has closed several dozens of stores. Historically, it was part of the big three mass market chains present in city centres and shopping centres, along with André and Eram. These last two years have seen more qualitative shifts in terms of fashion and even, for André at least, in terms of range. As for Bata, it clearly didn't really do anything which has cost it its place today.

Indeed, according to our information, the chain will disappear from the French market. In any case, Bata itself does not seem to have foreseen the presentation of a plan.
There is no doubt, however, that the chain, whose stores are for the most part in good locations and notably heavily present in shopping centres, should take a bigger interest in distributors, French or foreign. And maybe even, for that matter, in shoes.

1 EUR = 0.795081 GBP
1 EUR = 1.24294 USD

Jean-Paul Leroy (avec AFP)

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