Fashion retailer Pimkie appoints Beatrice Lafon as CEO in place of Christine Jutard
Changeover at the top for Pimkie. According to FashionNetwork.com sources, Christine Jutard, who was hired in August 2017 to lead the womenswear retailer’s transformation, has been dismissed. She is replaced by Beatrice Lafon, between 2011 and 2016 the Europe president and then CEO of US jewellery and women’s accessories chain Claire’s Stores.
Beatrice Lafon is well-known by Pimkie’s owners, the Mulliez family, as she became a board member of Fashion3, the group which controls Pimkie, just over a year ago. The fashion chains Happychic, Pimkie, Rouge Gorge, Grain de Malice and Orsay, owned by the Mulliez family - which also owns the Auchan group and sport retailer Decathlon - used to operate in a compartmented fashion, until they merged into the Fashion3 group in summer 2017. The group, which is classified as a European Economic Interest Grouping, is now led by Jean-Christophe Garbino, also in charge of Happychic.
Lafon is stepping into an executive role at Pimkie, and her mission is to implement a plan of voluntary redundancies which involves cutting 208 jobs and closing down 37 stores in France. According to FashionNetwork.com sources, sales for Pimkie's 320 stores are still slumping: revenue has reportedly fallen by 5.2% since the start of 2018, and was down by as much as 13% last August.
Lafon has a 35-year experience in the retail industry. She was notably the General Manager of the Dutch subsidiary of French lingerie label Etam between 2008 and 2010, before joining Claire's Stores in 2011. Between 1982 and 1989, at the start of her career, Lafon worked as merchandiser at Marks & Spencer.
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