Clear cut at the natural beautician: Yves Rocher closes all branches in Germany

Clear cut at the natural beautician
Yves Rocher is closing all branches in Germany

Yves Rocher’s business model doesn’t seem to be generating enough revenue. Therefore, the pioneer in the field of natural cosmetics is disappearing from German pedestrian zones. However, there will be no complete withdrawal from the German market.

The shop dying continues: The French cosmetics company Yves Rocher is closing its branches in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company announced in Stuttgart that it was planning to gradually close all stores over the coming months. The step affects about 350 jobs. The employees were therefore already informed in mid-March. Together with the works council, a social plan was agreed.

According to the information, 140 branches are affected by the closures. However, some of them should have been closed during the corona pandemic. The cosmetics company cited economic problems as the reason: “The past two years have also presented us with enormous economic challenges,” said a spokeswoman. With the current business model, one is no longer able to operate sustainably and successfully. However, the brand should not generally disappear from the market in the three countries. “Our customers can still find our products in our online shop and can order them directly,” the company said.

The German subsidiary of the cosmetics group, which owns several brands, manages online trading and the branch network in Germany, Austria and Switzerland from Stuttgart. Groupe Rocher has more than 15,000 employees internationally and has annual sales of more than 2.3 billion euros.

Company founder Yves Rocher is considered a pioneer in the field of natural cosmetics. He founded the company in Brittany in 1959. In 1969 the first branch was opened in Paris. Today, the brand advertises high-quality products at affordable prices and produces creams, shower gels and perfumes, among other things.

In the past few months, well-known chains have withdrawn completely or partially from German shopping streets. The closure of numerous Galeria-Karstadt-Kaufhof department stores attracted a lot of attention. However, many transactions of the shoe retailers Görtz and Reno as well as the textile chain Adler Modemärkte also had to be settled. And the fashion manufacturer Gerry Weber recently announced that it would close a large part of its branches. In these cases, however, this was related to the insolvency of the companies.

Yves Rocher not broke

This is not the case with Yves Rocher. One of the reasons for this development is likely to be the persistently high level of inflation: for months, inflation has been eroding consumers’ purchasing power. They can afford less for one euro – and often limit their consumption. This in turn has noticeable consequences for the economy, for which private consumption is an important pillar. According to the German Retail Association (HDE), this is pushing many companies to their limits. “Many trading companies are experiencing difficult times. First the pandemic with lockdowns, business closures and measures that limited the number of customers, and now the consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine with high inflation and poor consumer sentiment,” said HDE CEO Stefan Genth.

The HDE expects around 9,000 shops to close their doors forever this year. In a normal pre-crisis year, there were always around 5,000 stores. If the forecast is confirmed, apart from the smallest businesses, 311,000 shops will remain nationwide. For comparison: in 2015 there were almost 373,000. According to the HDE, the majority of the closures are due to smaller specialist retailers – fashion boutiques, shoe shops and bakeries. “In many places, this will have dramatic consequences for inner cities. Vacancies are increasing, city centers are becoming less attractive and getting caught in a downward spiral,” said Genth. The retail sector therefore needs better framework conditions in order to be able to position itself for the future.

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