Facing a slumping winter sports equipment market, Rossignol, the French ski and snowboard manufacturer, has implemented a strategy to drastically reduce operating costs in an effort to reach a positive operating profit within two years.
On Friday, senior management outlined a “revival” plan, which includes a workforce reduction of 30 percent for the group worldwide, or 500 posts, including 275 jobs in France. The company employs 1,500 people.
Rossignol, like other manufacturers in its sector, is dealing with continued growth in the ski rental activity, a fall in demand in the skiing industry of almost 40 percent in the last 20 years, increased pressure from competitors, and the economic crisis. Last November, Quiksilver sold Rossignol for $50.9 million to Chartreuse & Montblanc, and at the time, Rossignol was already showing heavy losses.
Among the steps it is taking are simplifying its sales offering; consolidating industrial sites by focusing on strong points; strengthening the identity for all brands, and significantly cutting back on all operating costs.
“The plan is unavoidable….These are difficult decisions. The fundamentals of Rossignol are sound, but the current situation is not tenable,” said Bruno Cercley, president of Rossignol.
The company noted that while Rossignol’s level of debt reached one and a half times its annual revenue in October 2008, the terms of the buyout virtually cleared the debt, making the group’s recovery possible if conducted without delay.
In addition, the company said a new head office is under construction in Moirans, near Grenoble, which starting in July, will house all the central functions such as human resources, marketing, R&D, finance, legal and sales administration.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast