Go Sport is in turmoil and a man has been called in to try to straighten things out. Patrick Puy is a restructuring specialist. He is due to take up his duties as general manager on Wednesday, while the Sassenage-based brand has an appointment on January 16 before the Grenoble Commercial Court. On December 21, an investigating judge was appointed to “make a precise statement of the financial situation” of the group.
The mission of the 67-year-old business leader, set by HPB (Hermione, People & Brands) in the press release announcing his appointment, is to “continue the necessary transformation of Go Sport” thanks to his “solid experience in the transformation of companies “.
The polytechnician notably managed Brandt-Moulinex in 2001, TDF France in 2010, Arc International in 2013 and finally Vivarte in 2016. as he explained in November 2021 to Echoes. HPB also hopes that the manager, “well-versed in social dialogue in business”, will focus “particularly on strengthening the confidence of Go Sport employees, in particular following erroneous, unfounded or denigrating information recently disseminated”.
Fear of liquidation
The approximately 2,000 employees and their union representatives recently sounded the alarm about the future of their company, worrying about suffering “the fate of the employees of Camaïeu”, the ready-to-wear brand which was the property of HPB until its abrupt liquidation at the end of September, leaving 2,600 people on the floor.
HPB, a subsidiary of the Financière immobilière bordelaise (FIB) of businessman Michel Ohayon, assures for its part that the sign specializing in sport, which remains on “17 years of losses” but must reconnect with profits ” from 2023″, “is not in a state of cessation of payment” and rejects amalgams with Camaïeu.
The boss of the FIB Michel Ohayon, also present in luxury hotels and wine, has made a name for himself in recent years by buying up many retail brands, often at low prices or in court: Go Sport, Camaïeu mais also certain Galeries Lafayette stores in France, La Grande Récré, Gap France and Café Légal.
Bad memories for Vivarte employees
“Good luck to the 2,000 employees of Go Sport”, reacted to AFP the former CFDT union representative of Vivarte, Jean-Louis Alfred. “We know the reputation of Patrick Puy, when he arrives it is never good for the employees”, he believes. “Look at Vivarte, it was 22,000 employees in 22 beautiful brands, of which there is almost nothing left today. If there are still 8,000 employees today still working in brands that have been taken over, that’s all, ”he says again with bitterness.
This former French textile jewel, which was called the André group until 2001, had been put in difficulty by international competition and successive takeovers. He was liquidated anonymously in 2021 while the brands he owned, Caroll, Minelli, La Halle, Naf Naf, Chevignon, Beryl, Pataugas, Kookaï or Creeks were sold, with more or less luck for them . In The echoes at the time, Patrick Puy had estimated that the dismantling of the group “was inevitable”.