Dozens of French fashion retail stores have either faced collapse or disappeared recently.The French fashion retail chain Naf Naf has requested protection from creditors, joining a long list of French retail networks teetering on the brink of collapse.
At the end of August, the fashion brand ceased payments and applied to the commercial court of Bobigny to appoint an administrator. A hearing is scheduled for September 5, with hopes from the owners that it will allow them to present a recovery plan and find potential buyers. Trade unions will be present in court as it has been reported that 800 employees have yet to receive their salaries.
According to Selçuk Yılmaz, the company's CEO, speaking to FashionNetwork, the court filing is intended to enable Naf Naf to take all necessary measures for its survival. He cited the "decline in sales" and "mounting debts" as the result of a shrinking market and "reduced foot traffic."
In June, the fashion company had already undergone a reorganization at its headquarters, eliminating 27 jobs. Several executives, including CEO Luke Mori, had also left during the spring. Among other challenges, Naf Naf has been struggling to settle rent arrears dating back to the pandemic and store closures.
This isn't the first time Naf Naf has encountered difficulties; in 2020, the chain came under the control of one of its suppliers, the Franco-Turkish group SY. At that time, significant staff reductions and downsizing of its trading base took place, but apparently, it was insufficient for a resurgence.
Naf Naf is not alone in this predicament, as dozens of French fashion retail stores have either faced collapse or disappeared recently. They can no longer compete with major international players, often distinguished by their high degree of digitization and lower costs.