Conforama Expects 1900 Job Cuts in France and 32 Store Closures

Conforama expects 1900 job cuts in France and 32 store closures

A restructuring plan must be presented Tuesday 2nd July 2019 to the Central Works Council (CCE), according to unions CGT and FO.

The group Conforama plans to eliminate 1,900 jobs in France in 2020, with the closure of 32 Conforama stores and that of the 10 stores of the Home Depot, did on Monday 1st July 2019 to the CGT and FO unions group.

Eight closed stores in Île-de-France

Of the 32 stores that must close and currently have 1050 employees, eight are located in Île-de-France . Two of the three Parisian stores will close. There are also plans for 600 job cuts in the 164 remaining Conforama stores, 124 deletions at the head office and 26 at the after-sales service, while the 100 jobs at Maison Dépôt stores will disappear.

A restructuring plan must be presented Tuesday morning to the Central Works Council (CCE), according to the CGT and FO.

The management, which received Monday evening the trade unions, said he wanted to “optimize the operation” of the company, said Jacques Mossé-Biaggini, FO delegate. Another CCE on this reorganization plan is already scheduled for July 11, said Abdelaziz Boucherit of the CGT.

Asked by AFP , the management replied that “any measure that would have consequences on employment for Conforama in France would be communicated in priority to the representative bodies of the personnel”.

“First letters on January 1st”

“According to management, the first letters of dismissal will be sent on the 1st January 2020 and the plan will be finalized by the end of March 2020,” Mouloud Hammour of FO reported.

The restructuring project should take the form of “a social plan containing measures of internal reclassifications and voluntary departures”, according to Abdelaziz Boucherit.

In April, Conforama reached an agreement with its creditors on a € 316 million refinancing plan approved by the courts.

Management then informed the staff representatives of this vast refinancing plan broken down into two phases. The first phase was intended to repay a portion of the group’s debt and was also to restore the cash flow of the furniture, decoration, appliance and computer equipment store.

The second phase was to finance a plan to restructure “deficit” stores in the first quarter of 2020, union sources said, one of which also said that the search for a buyer was “still relevant”.

Already at the beginning of March, the Conforama unions had expressed their concerns about the future of the brand.

In January, the group sold to Carrefour its 17% stake in Showroomprivé, number two in France for online destocking, thereby earning € 78.7 million.

Its parent company, the Steinhoff Group, is embroiled in a financial scandal related to accounting irregularities. The case had erupted in December 2017 and nearly bankrupted the company with the discovery of a “hole” of $ 6 billion in its accounts.

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