We already reported in February that fast fashion chain Orsay wants to close 79 of the 197 branches in Germany as part of its renovation. Shops on Schlossstrasse in Steglitz and in Moabit’s Schultheiss district on Turmstrasse are also affected. In April the Orsay logos will disappear. However, as is now known, the company has terminated the rental contracts of all branches in Germany as of July 1 this year. A brand is in danger of disappearing.
Upon request, this was confirmed by the company’s management. “The continuation of the stationery stores in Germany is still open today,” company spokesman Wolfgang Weber-Thedy said. Therefore, “all contracts have been terminated as a precaution.” In fact, it is not only about the rental contracts of the stores, but also about the employment contracts of the employees. According to Weber-Thedy, about 800 employees across the country are affected. Orsay currently operates a total of twelve branches in Berlin.
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The fashion retailer was in financial difficulties, especially due to the corona pandemic. Last year, the company, founded in 1975 in the Black Forest, received a state loan of 33 million euros, but had to open a self-managed insolvency procedure at the end of November. Orsay then negotiated with landlords to adjust store rents. When adequate rent reductions cannot be achieved, it should be closed. This completed the restructuring of the company.
However, since Orsay GmbH is insolvent, a new operator must be found for the fashion chain, which has been declared reorganized. Several potential partners are said to be in discussion. Weber-Thedy even speaks of “very good chances of continuation” of the chain. However, the decision was made to terminate the contract “as a precautionary measure”. None of the employees should have to wait “until the last day.” Therefore, a new operator must find new stores and new staff.
Orsay boss Sascha Bopp announced in February that they were interested in “as many employees as possible remaining part of Orsay”. Employees of the 79 branches that will be closed should be able to easily move to other stores in the chain.
Orsay is represented as a chain of women’s fashion stores in a total of 34 countries and operates more than 700 stores there. About a third of the more than 3,500 employees work in Germany. The fashion chain is owned by the French Mulliez family, which also owns the Pimkie fashion chain and clothing and sporting goods retailer Decathlon. The Pimkie chain ended insolvency proceedings last spring and reduced the number of its German branches from 75 to 40 last year.