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Isabelle Crossley
Sep 28, 2020
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Footwear business Royer Group prepares to cut 200 jobs in France

Translated by
Isabelle Crossley
Sep 28, 2020

Nothing has been finalised yet, but Royer Group, which has been in business for 75 years, is facing a drastic restructuring. In the second week of September, Royer chairman Jacques Royer told his footwear business’ employees that a restructuring plan has been drawn up. The plan is set to be a large-scale one and would cover around 200 jobs out of the 500 that the Breton business has in France. 

Jacques Royer, son of Royer founder Alain Royer, faces a crisis for the Breton business. To tackle it, he is holding discussions with employee representative groups. - Groupe Royer

“Discussions with the employee representative bodies started on September 8 and concern the group’s five sites in the region,” said the group. “But it is still too early to specify the functions concerned.” 
Discussions are expected to continue over the coming weeks to define the parameters of this plan for the leading player in the footwear trade, which reported a turnover of €300 million ($349.6 million) in 2019, of which 45% was from exports, and sold over 20 million pairs of shoes. The group owns brands including Kickers & Co, Mod8, Von Dutch, Kélian, Charles Jourdan, and Hungaria and also relies on footwear licenses from Freegun, PSG, Ushuaïa, CR7, Rica Lewis, and Dim. The business is also a distribution partner for brands including Umbro, Everlast, and New Balance.

It was the non-renewal of its collaboration with U.S. sports brand New Balance that raised concern over the prospects of Royer over the summer. The arrival of Canterbury in its brand portfolio clearly cannot replace running shoe giant New Balance.

“This is of course an element which explains the reflection on this restructuring plan, but the crisis linked to Covid-19 had a very big impact on shoe retailers’ networks and on our own stores,” explained a spokesperson for the group.

Royer's headquarters in Fougères, France - Groupe Royer

As a polymorph, the business has expanded its know-how and entered into sectors including sourcing, distribution, and retail itself, including logistics optimisation and product creation. This level of diversity consequently requires significant investments to enable the business to be competitive across the different sectors.
In France, as well as internationally, the Royer group works with large-scale distribution businesses, as well as with independent multi-brand retailers and through its own networks. Royer also retails through e-commerce platforms offering products ranging from entry level to sport to luxury.
The business’ different activities are spread across its five workplace sites in France. These comprise Fougères, where its headquarters is located; Maleville in Aveyron; Sèvres; Cholet; and Arques in Pas de Calais. In total, the group counts 46,000 square metres of logistics space. Royer also has around 250 employees working for its subsidiaries in Germany, Spain, and Portugal, as well as at its offices in Asia.

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