By  on March 25, 2009

PARIS — French contemporary sportswear brand Cacharel on Tuesday said it plans to close its logistics site in Nimes, France, with the loss of around 100 jobs.

The move is part of a relaunch plan headed by Cacharel’s new managing director, Marc Ramanantsoa, which includes changes to the Paris-based firm’s design studio, management, distribution and production structures.

Ramanantsoa’s goal is for the company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, to break even by 2011 after years of losses.

The activities carried out at the Nimes site, which served as a base for fabric deliveries and finished goods, will be outsourced to a partner at a lower cost to the company, Ramanantsoa said. “The crisis has only accelerated the necessity to take a difficult decision which would have eventually had to be taken anyway,” he said.

The closure marks the end of Cacharel’s long-term presence in Nimes, where Jean Bousquet, the company’s founder and chief executive officer, was once mayor.

Meanwhile, Cacharel will create 15 jobs in a new marketing and communications department, a move designed to raise the brand’s profile to that of its Seventies heyday.

Earlier this month, the firm opened a temporary boutique in Paris to showcase its new fashion direction: namely a modern spin on classics including its signature Liberty print and polkadots. “This is typical of the direction we’re taking,” said Ramanantsoa of the boutique, noting Cacharel has kept to very classic retail networks in the past.

There are plans to open 20 stores, mainly franchised, across France in the next three years, plus 10 boutiques each in Spain, Italy, Germany and the U.K.

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