This is the dark side of the company's vast restructuring plan, which plans to close 42 stores: French manufacturers of furniture, bedding and kitchens are also experiencing growing difficulties.
On October 14, 2019 at 6:35
When the news fell on July 1, they said to themselves like everyone else: one more! But for the thousands of employees of outsourcing companies related to the number three furniture in France, the removal of 1,905 positions and the closure of 42 Conforama stores next year is not just another topic of news. A social plan of unprecedented magnitude, under negotiation, launched by the creditors of Conforama who took control of the brand last April.
In recent weeks, the financial situation of several Conforama suppliers has deteriorated sharply. They fear the domino effect of a restructuring whose contours are still unclear, as Mouloud Hammour, secretary of FO Conforama's central committee, deplores: "We have asked the management for clarification on a social level that could go well beyond beyond the 1 905 announced cuts and to reach a total of 2 800 redundancies. The answers given on Thursday October 10 did not convince us or reassure us. And the negotiations are going badly. "
"Public authorities must mobilize"
At Parisot, Demeyère, Adova, Gamin, Coffel ... and other manufacturers of furniture, bedding, sofas, etc., the problems are looming. Thus, furniture Parisot (whose 30% of turnover depends on Conforama, or 45 million euros) announced in September the elimination of 127 positions on the 520 employees of this company born in 1936 in Haute-Saone. "Conforama's creditors mock the situation of the subcontractors. The public authorities must mobilize, "says the union source.
The situation is hardly better in the Demeyère group. This furniture kit specialist, which has three factories in France, has just experienced its second job protection plan (48 jobs eliminated in June). A sign of great excitement, an expert on the turnaround has just taken office in the group.
A social time bomb
Mattress suppliers are not left out. Adova, ex-Cauval, maker of the Simmons and Dunlopillo mattresses , is in a worrying situation. According to several financial sources, discussions have been launched to find new ways of financing the company whose cash flow is deteriorating.
"The collapse of Conforama will hurt all suppliers," said a source close to the company, according to which "the social situation may worsen in the coming weeks." A threat of social plans in cascade that the government would like to avoid because, according to our information, the Ciri, the cell of Bercy which comes to help the companies in difficulty, was alerted.
The furniture sector represents 130,000 direct and indirect jobs in France, most of them in rural or peri-urban areas.