The supermarket chain Toujust has closed its five stores in France as the parent company has gone into liquidation. The discount stores launched less than a year ago.
The decision was made on Wednesday (November 22) by the court-appointed representative judging the offer of two suppliers interested in a takeover to be insufficient.
Toujust promised reduced prices made possible by a direct contract with suppliers. At the beginning of the year the supermarket expected to open 70 stores in France before March 2024 and about 20 in Switzerland.
However nine months after opening its first store at the beginning of March in Alès (Gard), and four other stores later in Lempdes (Puy-de-Dôme), Proville (Nord), Rivery (Somme) and Monéteau (Yonne), the discounter found itself unable to pay suppliers.
Potential candidates for a takeover had come forward following the judicial liquidation of Tazita Holding, the parent company of the Toujust brand, on November 8, by the Commercial Court of Créteil (Val-de-Marne).
But yesterday the offers presented were deemed financially insufficient and the decision was taken to close the five points of sale.
Toujust employed a total of 41 people. It remains to be seen who will take over the premises, in addition to about 20 secure pitches.
Bricorama to follow?
Five Bricorama stores are also expected to close their doors next spring. The chain is carrying out a redundancy plan as a result of economic difficulties.
"Despite revitalisation actions and efforts made by the teams in recent years, the observation is that they do not offer the necessary conditions to ensure their sustainability," Les Mosquetaires, the group which owns the chain, told Actu France.
The stores concerned are those in Meaux (Seine-et-Marne), Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine), Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon (Essonne) and Bessoncourt (Belfort) and Guilherand-Granges (Ardèche).
Workers at these shops, which specialise in DIY, decorative and gardening equipment, are protesting against "the conditions of their dismissals" and have not reached an agreement with management on the terms of a redundancy plan.
Negotiations at a standstill
In total, "87 jobs are at stake," Roland Brunelle, a trade union delegate, told Actu France.
"The Les Mousquetaires group, which has controlled 170 stores since 2018, has made its decision but negotiations have stalled on the terms of departure," he said.
The unions are asking for the same conditions of departure as in 2020 when the group decided to close 13 stores in France. However, with proposals of “two months salary rather than the expected eight months”, workers are threatening strikes in the coming days.