Jan 20, 2017
C&A closes 23 stores, announces layoff proceedings for 300 Spanish employees
Jan 20, 2017
The department store chain C&A has issued a notice of statutory layoff proceedings to the unions, affecting close to 300 people, 16% of its workforce in Spain, as well as a plan to close 23 of the stores that it has in Spain, of which 5 are in Madrid.
According to the company and the unions, the Spanish subsidiary of the Dutch multinational and the works council, made up of members of the FETICO union, have already begun to negotiate ERE conditions, which the company justifies for strictly economic reasons.
Of the 23 shops affected by the closure, five are in the Madrid area (Goya in the capital as well as San Sebastián de los Reyes, Majadahonda, Colmenar Viejo and Rivas); three in Galicia, three in Castilla y León, two in Catalonia, two in the Basque Country and two in Andalucia, according to the list published by FETICO on its website.
C & A has recently closed its megastore on Madrid's Gran Vía shopping street, which was seen as the first victim of Primark’s opening in the city centre.
According to company sources, the 23 stores currently affected are those that, after a study, have been calculated as having "a negative profitability".
The sources have also emphasised that they have put in place a transformation plan to build a stronger, more sustainable and competitive company in order to continue to respond to the current needs and interests of its customers in a more agile way in an increasingly demanding and volatile market.
This plan entails the closure of the 23 stores and new openings in 2017, they added.
"C & A has a strong vocation for permanence in Spain, a market where it has been successfully present for 34 years, which is proof of our firm commitment to the Iberian market, and precisely because this is our strategy, we are undertaking this transformation and simplification plan of the business," Domingo Esteves, director general of C & A Iberia, said in a statement.
FETICO has stressed that, in addition to the economic situation, the expiration dates of the leases of the premises is another reason behind the company’s decision to close the 23 stores, minimising layoffs elsewhere in the company.
"They will be closing the stores based on the expiration dates of the rental contracts," trade union sources said.
The company has proposed compensation for 25 days with a maximum of 12 monthly payments, but the union is calling for 40 days without any threshold for monthly payments.
Other FETICO demands are the search for voluntary work, especially in workplaces, an early retirement plan and the hiring of a placement company to help find future work opportunities for the affected workers.
The company has explained to Spanish paper Efe that after the negative results of 2015 in Spain, in which it lost 18 million euros, their recent measures have led them to achieve "a neutral financial flow", which have allowed the company to cover "all its obligations without having financial tensions beyond normal at the moment in the retail sector".
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