France's Pimkie set to close 50 stores across Austria, Germany
Pimkie plans to reduce its retail presence in Germany. According to information provided to FashionNetwork.com, the womenswear retailer, which has experienced some turbulence of late, plans to close 50 stores collectively across Germany and Austria, a zone which the French company only entered several years ago.
Pimkie management, which declined to comment on the matter, could close 35 of its namesakes stores in Germany and another 15 stores in Austria, retaining some 80 stores in the region after the shuttering. The closures will likely take place over the coming 18 months.
Pimkie was founded in 1971 in France's Villeneuve-d’Ascq. Germany is one of the retailer's top three international markets, alongside Spain and Italy. Pimkie entered Germany in 1988, and counts today more than 100 mono-brand stores in the country. A subsidiary has also been set up in Germany, on the French border in Willstatt-Legelshurst, near Strasbourg.
In 2015, the brand shifted its target market from women aged 15-25 to 18-34 year olds. It currently boasts 750 stores, which are mostly in Europe, with some 300 in France alone. Other store closures are feared by the French unions, however, who are particularly worried about dozens of unprofitable stores in France.
Adding to the firm's woes are a slew of recent executive departures including Pimkie's artistic director, Sidney Rhule, international business director, Gyril Goulet and finance director, Philippe Normand.
In September, the specialist firm Prosphères was appointed for a period of four months to assist in business improvements at Pimkie.
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