Citadium

PARIS — French retailer Printemps said Friday it has decided to keep three Citadium branches it had planned to close, citing encouraging sales figures and fruitful rent renegotiations.

Printemps had outlined a restructuring plan in November that flagged the stores — two in Paris and one in Toulon on the French Riviera — as slated for closure, along with four department stores around the country, leading to the loss of 428 jobs, or 14 percent of its workforce.

Some 52 jobs will be maintained as a result of the decision, said the department store chain, which mentioned efforts from staff as well as an uptick in local consumption, along with lower rents as the reason for change of plans.

Under the direction of chief executive officer Jean-Marc Bellaiche, recruited last year, Printemps is seeking to broaden its local customer base, bulk up omnichannel services and offer more exclusive products. The executive plans to draw on the sporty, urban apparel Citadium stores as part of this strategy.

The news comes as the French retail sector grapples with a fresh round of lockdown measures as the government seeks to rein in surging coronavirus cases.

Bellaiche, who has a strong background in data, took over in October, following a six-month search to replace Paolo de Cesare, who left suddenly after a 13-year run.

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