French womenswear retailer Mim wound up, 791 jobs to be axed
This time it is reall all over for Mim. On 26th April the trade court in Bobigny, France, has ruled for the compulsory liquidation of the French womenswear retailer, despite a cooperative acquisition project set up by a group of employees which offered some hope that Mim would remain afloat. The retailer will have to cease all business with immediate effect.
A huge number of layoffs is now likely to follow, with a job-protection plan involving no less than 791 employees who still worked for the company owned by the Main Asia group. According to a member of Mim’s employee committee, the plan could be worth nearly €2.6 million.
The womenswear retailer went into receivership last November, and will have to close down all of its 199 stores as of Wednesday evening. One of Mim's employee representatives told FashionNetwork that staff will reach their workplace tomorrow, but the stores will remain shut. "It is a shock for the employees, though it was expected, and we will have to come to grips with it," he said.
Last March, 71 Mim stores in total were bought, 69 by Swiss retailer Tally Weijl and 2 by the Etam group, allowing nearly 300 jobs to be saved.
A delegation of Mim employees was received on 25th April at the Elysée Palace, home of the French Presidency, by Sébastien Massart, an industry advisor for President François Hollande. The objective was to discuss the government's support for the job-protection plan, and also for two delegation members to present their acquisition project for 130 Mim stores, saving 650 jobs.
The cooperative project was backed by the SECI-UNSA trade union, and the hope was that the court would allow Mim to continue trading, allowing the acquisition project to be firmed up and to obtain financial backing. The compulsory liquidation order seems to have now compromised the project. A few days ago, the majority of Mim's employees expressed their opposition to the project, according to an internal survey. Mimi's CEO between 2012 and 2014, Xavier Wilmes, helped with the project in a consulting role.
Mim's appointed liquidator will issue a call for tenders in the next few days, for the sale of the company's assets.
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