Scotch & Soda, the renowned Dutch fashion brand, faces a critical juncture in France as it seeks receivership, driven by the Belgian group Alain Broekaert (GAB), its recent acquirer of fewer than six months. This development centers on Scotch & Soda’s French subsidiary, which operates 24 stores in France, as reported by Scotch & Soda France to FashionNetwork.com.
In March 2023, the Dutch fashion brand, spanning womenswear, menswear, and childrenswear, underwent an acquisition by the US-based Bluestar Alliance after filing for bankruptcy in its Dutch homeland, where it originated in 1985. Subsequently, GAB, recognized for its distribution of diverse fashion labels in the Benelux region, took over the management of Scotch & Soda’s French operations in May.
However, GAB has grappled with reviving the fortunes of Scotch & Soda’s French business, contending with substantial operating losses and mounting rent arrears. These financial challenges have culminated in a cessation of payments to creditors. Consequently, GAB has submitted a receivership request to the Paris trade court, with a ruling anticipated on Thursday, November 2, according to a GAB spokesperson.
Notably, the company has acknowledged that October wages for its 117 French employees remain pending until the commencement of the receivership proceedings, confirming a report sourced anonymously.
Remarkably, Scotch & Soda France emphasizes that it «possesses adequate cash resources to support the [court’s] monitoring period.» GAB is currently in the process of crafting a comprehensive recovery plan, which entails the closure of unprofitable stores, signaling a reluctance to pursue a sale.
Scotch & Soda originally made its foray into the French market in 2009, operating 24 monobrand stores throughout the nation, including three outlet stores. It previously established concessions at Galeries Lafayette’s French branches, a venture that came to a close in the summer of 2023.
Based on société.com data, GAB France Retail, the entity responsible for Scotch & Soda’s French stores, reported revenue of €12 million in the fiscal year 2021-22.