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Cacharel made in France, it’s over. The brand with blouses flower closes its last plant of the Hexagon in Nimes. The operation leaves on the floor about 200 people, about 350 employees: most of the production staff is thanked (150 of 200), and 50 administrative staff. The remaining 150 will continue to provide management and distribution. The rumored since Monday, the group has confirmed Friday the works council. “It is for us to spend a happy holiday,” quips bitterly GSC delegate, Bernard Puech.

No salute. Management justified the closure by a calculation franc and Minute: Nîmes factory product too expensive compared to its European competitors. “It is difficult to maintain in France manufacturing jobs in textiles, where the minute cost is 2.20 F 1.30 F against Italy, not to mention the prices in Hungary and Poland,” explains Serge Clause Director General Cacharel. The plant in Nîmes does not yet ensure that 15% of the total production of the ready-to-wear brand: the rest is made in Italy (about 50%) in the countries of Eastern and Portugal. But this little 15% clearly weighs heavily on accounts already ailing.

According to management, 12 of the 15 million registered deficit francs this year are due to the production costs of the assembly plant. No salvation for Nimes, management abroad: “Our results and competition compel us today to fully outsource our production to remain competitive,” said Cacharel yesterday. To pass the pill less badly, management promises to take tweezers to cut in the workforce: “The reclassification of the component will be particularly thorough.” In Nîmes, the employees refuse to be eating. The vast majority of the workers are workers with twenty or thirty years of life to make skirts and pants. “The average age of staff is 46 years,” says CGC Chief Bernard Puech. Where to find work in the textile sector, which has lost five years in the department, 200 companies, and 2000 employees?

In the mid-80s, Cacharel twirled four plants in the region, employing 1200 people. Jean Bousquet, the founder of the brand, then ruled Nimes with its contractor deputy mayor of the mandate. In 1992, the group 680 million francs in revenue. In 1996, he collapses to 270 million. The small flowers are no longer fashionable, the crisis of the ready-to-wear sink a company that tends to doze on his laurels. Since 1995, Cacharel-ready-to-wear lines up losses.

Demonstration. “We will fight to the end,” warns Lyse Daudé, CGT delegate of the company. As of Wednesday, the employees marched through the city. And handed it Friday outside the headquarters. Unions have called on local officials and are ready to develop a project against.

“For the cost of production, it is undeniable that we can compete with Italy, admits Bernard Puech, the GSC. But it is easy to allocate the largest share of the deficit in manufacturing, while the group spends three times he has on hand. We suffer from very poor management. “And the union cited the opening in 1997 of a prestigious rue Bonaparte-shop in Paris, to the tune of 40 million francs. “This investment will never be amortized, he said. The group did not have the means. “No more than moving its headquarters from Paris to Nimes in 1994, for an express return to the capital in late 1997.” Politically, it felt good to be in the Gard, said Bernard Puech, but fashion is in Paris as it goes. Now we are paying the consequences. We have debts everywhere, banks lead us at arm’s length “and the CGT delegate added:..” It is not with the closure of the plant they come to turn the corner ”

The direction she is trying to get the machine, refocusing its activities on the creation and distribution. Hence the opening of stores, presenting all the brand’s ranges (women, men, children), and the total relocation of production. In 1997, sales of ready-to-wear are back on the rise (+ 17%), and the turnover in 1998 is expected to round to 360 million francs against 320 in 1997 (1). But with still 15 million loss to the counter and a social fund.

(1) Between the ready-to-wear and perfume, Cacharel brand generates over 2 billion francs in turnover. Anaïs-Anaïs, Loulou, Eden “licensed L’Oreal, relate in half.