The Paris commercial court is expected to rule on the fate of the French group specializing in children’s fashion Kidiliz (ten brands including Beckaro, Z, Chipie, Catimini, Kenzo Kids) on Monday, but the unions have already warned that the social cost would be high .
At the beginning of November, the inter-union CFDT-CFE-CGC-CGT-CFTC of French employees had mentioned in a press release “a catastrophic situation, with more than 900 economic layoffs to come in France by the end of the year” .
The management of the group, owned by Chinese Semir for two years and which posted a turnover of 388 million euros in 2019, had mentioned at that date more than 2,000 jobs lost in Europe. Some 150 employees out of 600 should be taken over in Italy and 315 out of nearly 1,500 in France (including 1,250 permanent contracts), the same source said.
An “unlucky” timing
“Kidiliz suffered both from an organization that was built through external growth operations, therefore not necessarily through organizational optimization, and which suffered from a succession of economic crises, yellow vests, social mobilizations on pensions, climatic hazards… ”, explained Friday the lawyer of the group Delphine Caramalli, partner at the firm Clifford & Chance.
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At the end of the first confinement, Patrick Puy, who arrived at the head of the group in the summer, “took the necessary measures by placing all the group’s French entities in receivership, as well as the Netherlands,” Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy ”, she detailed.
“We saw a lot of market appetite, but a week before the tender review hearing,” it was a cold shower with the announcement of the re-containment which discouraged some candidates and pushed others. to downsize, ”she explains, referring to“ a really unlucky timing ”.
Offers that have melted
The main takeover offer from ID Kids, which wants to continue operating the Catimini and Absorba brands, now only proposes to take over 226 positions in France, compared to 615 previously. The proposal of Children Worldwide Fashion (CWF), interested in the exploitation of several brands under license, has grown from 200 to 86 people.
At the beginning of November, Hervé Reynaud, the LR mayor of Saint-Chamond (Loire) where the Zannier group was born in 1962, denounced the attitude of “gravedigger of the Chinese group which bought it two years ago”, adding to the intention of the candidates for the resumption that “confinement should not be an alibi to recover at least the marks and get rid of jobs”.