Vivarte cutting 1,600 jobs at La Halle and André

La Halle aux Vêtements will be closing 178 of its 600 stores, with 1,520 jobs to be cut. At André, 105 employees will lose their jobs and 32 of its 160 locations will be shut. That is what Vivarte announced at its special works council.

"Management presented a downsizing scheme focusing on 1,300 job cuts at La Halle," Jean-Louis Alfred, CFDT central union representative, told Reuters. For its part, the trades union has indicated 1,520 job cuts at La Halle.

For André, which employs 500 people, it is mostly stores in small towns outside of the Paris-Ile de France region that will be affected by the closures.

At Kookaï, jobs will be cut at head office and in the logistics division, according to French newspaper Les Echos, which cites 32 jobs altogether. 

At the head of 16 chains and brands, including Naf Naf, Kookaï, André, Minelli and Chevignon, Vivarte, which since last summer has been under the control of four investment groups -Alcentra, Babson, GoldenTree and OakTree, until now had 4,800 retail points. The company saw its revenue cut by nearly half at the end of its non-calendar 2013-2014 fiscal year, affected by a drop in sales at La Halle aux Vêtements. The retail chain, which employs some 4,000 people, recorded 58 million euros in losses in 2014, compared to the 28 million forecast, for a revenue of 606 million euros (-14.5%).
 
In continuous decline since its 2011-2012 financial year, Vivarte's sales dropped 10.3% to 2.684 billion euros at the end of its 2014 financial year closed at the end of August, according to documents obtained by Reuters. The result was an EBITDA divided by nearly half, standing at 170 million euros, compared to 327 million a year earlier, with the operating profitability dropping to 6.3%, compared to 10.9 %. The Vivarte group employs 22,000 people.
 
Matthieu Guinebault (with AFP and Reuters)

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