Translated by
Nicola Mira
Nov 4, 2022
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Inventory clearance specialist Noz buys at auction most of Camaïeu’s stock

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Nov 4, 2022

A ready-to-wear giant's bankruptcy means business opportunities for other players. After French fashion retailer Camaïeu went into liquidation, following a ruling by the Lille trade court at the end of September, its assets were sold off. Twenty lots of Camaïeu’s inventory were auctioned in Vendeville, northern France, on Tuesday November 2. According to French newspaper La Voix Du Nord, it was Noz, an inventory clearance specialist active in various sectors, from home decoration to fashion, beauty and toys, that bought the vast majority of the stock.

One of the lots from the Camaïeu warehouse - Mercier et Cie

The sale was organised by court-appointed auctioneers Mercier et Cie., whose auction sheet specified the various lots involved: eight lots for a total of 1.2 million items related to goods stocked in the Camaïeu stores, for a retail value of €34 million. The remaining 12 lots related to pallets of products from the summer and winter collections, including garment prototypes, all stocked at the fashion retailer’s warehouses, for a total of approximately 580,000 items worth €14 million.

La Voix Du Nord has reported that Noz paid €3.8 million to purchase virtually the entire inventory, excluding the stock from Camaïeu stores in Corsica and Monaco, a figure that was three times higher than auctioneer Patrick Deguines expected. The proceeds will be partly paid out to Camaïeu’s creditors and lessors.

The fashion section of the Noz store in Péronne, France, which opened in October 2022 - Noz/Facebook

Noz is a cut-price and inventory clearance specialist founded in 1976 in Laval, operating 313 hard-discount stores and 12 logistics hubs across France. The company generates annual sales worth €550 million and employs nearly 6,000 people. Noz has recently experienced sourcing problems that forced it to close down 24 stores in September 2022. The huge Camaïeu inventory should help Noz replenish its shelves, as the clothes will be available at the chain’s stores within three weeks, according to La Voix Du Nord.

Following the court’s liquidation order on September 28, an extra three days of sales were held in all Camaïeu stores, before the business was finally wound up. The goal was to increase the funds allocated for the retailer’s 2,100 employees’ redundancy payments and job redeployment costs. According to the unions, the three emotion-filled days generated sales worth €25 million.

Camaïeu had been acquired two years ago by Hermione People & Brands, a retail operator that works with the Galeries Lafayette group, Go Sport and Gap France, among others, and is a subsidiary of asset management firm Financière Immobilière Bordelaise. Camaïeu’s bankruptcy illustrates the difficulties currently faced by brands in the mid-range womenswear segment. The market as a whole is increasingly polarised between budget retailers and premium and luxury labels.

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