The Pimkie brand offered for sale by the Mulliez family

The brand, which has 232 owned stores and 81 affiliated stores for 1,500 employees, has been in trouble for more than a decade.

The Mulliez Family Association (AFM) is looking for a buyer for its troubled womenswear brand Pimkie for more than a decade, management and unions said on Monday, confirming information from trade publication Fashion Network. “The current shareholder is looking for an external shareholder solution and takes several months to conduct this research and find the best possible solutionPimkie’s message to AFP on Monday said.

Pimkie, which has 232 owned stores and 81 affiliated stores for 1,500 employees, had nearly 200 million euros in sales in 2020. Founded in 1971, the brand had appointed Chief Executive Officer Philippe Favre, a manager specialized in managing companies in difficulty. With this arrival, the staff expected “a turnaround in business with restructuring, certainly store closures‘ told AFP on Monday Karine Therage, branch manager in Noyelles-Godault in the Pas-de-Calais, elected to the CSE and union representative CFE-CGC. But last weekThe announcement was made in search of a potential shareholder“, She carries on.”Pimkie is therefore for sale and there would be a requirement: you have withdrawn the possibility of a pension fund, you are looking for a shareholder who could give the company a future“.

“The employees are hurt”

The union fears the buyer will follow the path taken by Philippe Favre and envisage store closures. “We think it’s a shame that the buyer and not the Mulliez family is doing the dirty work. We feel left out‘ complains Karine Therage. “From the 1970s through the 2000s, Pimkie was a thriving business that helped grow other businesses in the Mulliez Galaxy. It almost feels like a betrayal.»

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the brand has been suffering from the textile crisis, which has damaged many once flourishing groups in the clothing industry, such as André, Camaieu and La Halle. On its Facebook page, the CFDT expresses concern that the sales process “question the whole +business plan+” and leaves the field open for the new buyer who “an additional source of anxiety for employees“.

For its part, Unsa notes that “The Mulliez Group wants to separate from the textile brands” and “the investment required for Pimkie’s turnarounddissuaded these shareholders from this path. “Once again, it’s the employees who get hurt, who are driven insane but are told to stay motivated, to keep working as if nothing happened.“Finally the CGT regrets Pimkie, also on Facebook.

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