It is barely ten o’clock this Tuesday, September 15 and already a dozen customers are waiting in their vehicle while waiting for the Alinea store in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, located in the La Croix-Blanche shopping area in Essonne, to open. . While heading towards the facade, Joseph and Danielle, retired, then find the doors closed and discover the signs announcing the final closure since Sunday evening. “Already? We knew that the sign had difficulties, but not that it had gone out of business so quickly, laments Joseph, 70, from Villemoisson-sur-Orge (Essonne). It’s very sad, we’ve been coming here for years. “
Jocelyne, who traveled from Loiret with her daughter, eight months pregnant, hoped to find the future baby’s room. “We don’t have Alinea near us. And we particularly like this brand: it often offers ranges that are a little different from what we can find elsewhere. It was a bit more expensive, but of better quality. I am very sad that it has closed, ”she sighs before taking the road to go… to the Ikea in Evry, 9 kilometers away.
In total, 17 of the 26 stores of the furniture brand, placed in receivership in mid-May, have lowered the curtain in recent hours while the commercial court of Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône) validated the project on Monday. partial takeover proposed by its current shareholders, the Mulliez family. This offer saves nine points of sale (Paris-Herblay, Nancy, Limoges, Grenoble, Mérignac, Blagnac, Montpellier, Avignon and Aubagne), while a tenth (that of Poitiers) is taken over by the Gifi group.
“The Covid has a good back”
Since Monday, the employees affected by the closures have taken care of “cleaning up” the stores and tidying up the files. A handful of them are present in that of Sainte-Geneviève on this Tuesday morning. The looks are sad. Few agree to speak: “We are completely demotivated, resigned, sighs an employee, in post for 16 years. We will leave with the union minimum, legal compensation plus 1,500 euros gross per year of seniority. But above all, we feel let down. “
In total, 992 Alinea employees must be made redundant, including 63 in this store. And even if reclassification offers in other brands belonging to the Mulliez family (Auchan, Leroy Merlin…) will be offered to them, the anger is still there. “We have never been listened to. Mistakes have been made. The Covid has a good back, ”she adds, while the sign pointed out difficulties linked to the Covid-19 health crisis, the movement of yellow vests and strikes against the pension reform.
“There was also a problem with the positioning of the range, believes François, 64, a“ long-time ”customer. “Before, we could find interesting products with good value for money. For two years, prices have increased a lot, but not the quality. It’s a shame, ”adds this inhabitant of Saint-Michel-Sur-Orge (Essonne), accompanied by his wife, Christine. And Joseph to add, saddened: “Between Conforama, a little further, and the Halles, just there, which also closed recently, the list of stores which disappear from this area is growing. And that’s only the beginning. “