Hundreds of jobs lost and seventeen stores disappearing. The Marseille commercial court validated Monday the offer of partial takeover of the Alinéa group by its shareholders and of one of the stores of the furniture brand by the Gifi group, a solution which provides for the total elimination of 992 jobs .
According to the public prosecutor, the offer of the shareholders, the Mulliez family, baptized Néomarché and which only saves 9 out of the 26 stores, was “the only possible alternative to direct liquidation”. An additional store, located in Poitiers, has been taken over by the Gifi group.
“The group has achieved its ends,” lamented to employee lawyer Nathalie Campagnolo, criticizing “a social fiasco”.
“A total windfall effect”
“It’s been several years that the group has encountered structural difficulties and not cyclical, there is a total windfall effect”, she also estimated, referring to the procedure put in place on May 20 by a motivated government order by the health crisis, and which allows, until the end of 2020, business leaders who have filed for bankruptcy to present themselves as buyers if their offer maintains employment.
Owner of Alinéa since 2017, the Mulliez family denies wanting to escape its creditors, and notes that without its offer, the brand would disappear.
According to Nathalie Campagnolo, reclassification offers will be offered to dismissed employees, but mainly at Auchan, one of the many brands belonging to the Mulliez (Decathlon, Leroy Merlin, etc.).
Many businesses affected
In the spring, Alinéa (more than 1,800 employees and 26 furniture and decoration stores across France) joined the long list of companies having announced legal reorganizations or restructuring, from clothing stores La Halle, Camaïeu, Naf Naf to the car manufacturer Renault …
In receivership since May 18, the brand headquartered in Aubagne, in the suburbs of Marseille, argued difficulties related to the movement of yellow vests, strikes against the pension reform and then the health crisis linked to Covid -19.