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Esprit to Close Unprofitable Stores in France

Sportswear firm said more than 150 employees would be affected.

BERLIN — As part of a strict cost-cutting plan, Esprit said it would close “a few” of its loss-making stores in France, as well as elsewhere in Europe.

 

Esprit noted the move in France, which is one of the sportswear brand’s key European markets, is also due to the country’s difficult economic situation.

 

Esprit said more than 150 employees in France would be affected during the next 12 to 18 months, but would not specify the number of stores to be shuttered. Some reports suggested up to 17 stores, about half the French network, could be affected.

 

The company said “every effort will be made to implement these redundancies in the most socially acceptable manner possible, following consultation with the employee representatives.”

 

Battered by declining sales and widening losses, Esprit remains in the midst of restructuring efforts to turnaround its business.

 

Scheduled to release its first-half figures on Feb. 21, Hong Kong-based Esprit Holdings Ltd. has said it anticipates posting a “slight profit” in the six month period from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2013.