Etam hires consultant for its China business
Faced with a difficult situation in China, the Etam Group has hired a consultant to work alongside Jean-Marie Fersing, head of Etam's Chinese subsidiary. The outside hire is Jacques Roizen, from Alvarez & Marsal, a consulting firm with offices in Hong Kong that specializes in interim management and restructuring.
The Etam Group again posted more declines in 2013 for its China operations, a 6.2% drop in sales to 411.6 million euros (-4.3% on a like-for-like basis and at constant currency rates). The subsidiary recorded an operating loss of 9.8 million euros versus a gain of 1.5 million euros in 2012.
In the first quarter of 2014, revenues fell by 15.2% (-9.4% on a comparable basis and at constant exchange rates). But Etam joint-CEO Milchior Laurent insists that "March was positive on a like-for-like basis and at constant exchange rates."
The 2014 objective for China is obviously to stop the revenue bleed on a comparable basis. Besides shoring up the management team through the presence of Jacques Roizen, Etam is aiming to decentralize its marketing organization through regional adaptation, accelerating the selling of past collections and reducing personnel costs.
The company also intends to consolidate its retail network by closing 200 corners while at the same time opening franchises and stores in shopping malls.
Etam also wants to westernize its range, even if this does not involve selling the French collections.
Laurent Milchior is also counting on the development of online sales, especially since e-commerce accounts for 28% of clothing sales in China, he explained. At the same time, Etam intends to be more present on social media.
And the company also wants a wider distribution for its lingerie line in China. The French group has a corner in the new Galeries Lafayette department store in Beijing.
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