MS Mode closes down 113 stores, cuts 500 jobs and stops French operations
After MS Mode's French subsidiary filed for bankruptcy, the Dutch fashion retailer was hoping to be able to buy back part of its stores after a trade court ruling. A rather extraordinary way of restructuring its store network, which had worked in Belgium but would not be allowed in France. According to our information in fact, the Lille Métropole trade court ruled on 12th December, rejecting the offer for the stores put forward by MS Mode's parent company.
MS Mode's French chain, consisting of 134 stores, will therefore close down, with the exception of 21 of them which are to be sold separately. The ÏDKids group will buy 19, adapting them to its Okaïdi and Oxybul chains and taking on 70 MS Mode employees, while womenswear label Christine Laure will purchase another two stores.
Altogether, 113 MS Mode stores are to be closed down, with the loss of nearly 500 jobs. This will result in the Dutch plus-size fashion brand ceasing retail operations in France, despite its intention to the contrary.
France is MS Mode's second market, just after the Netherlands. Faced with mounting debts and a troubled consumption outlook, MS Mode's parent company launched into a large-scale, Europe-wide restructuring plan in the summer. Its declared objective was to still continue doing business in France, albeit with a streamlined set-up.
Yet, in just a few months, MS Mode has shrunk from about 430 stores to 150, after closing down all its shops in Germany and now in France, as well as a part of its network in the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium (where it also had to go through the courts). The parent company's latest proposal for France was to retain, or at least buy back, about thirty of its stores.
The gamble failed, however: the court has refused to put stores and employees back in the hands of a group that led them to such a critical juncture. The French subsidiary was reportedly profitable, despite the recent, short-term slump in revenue, and in 2014 MS Mode sales in France were worth nearly €90 million.
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