Galeries Lafayette changes owner but no name

The family group of Galeries Lafayette has decided to sell the business and the building of the famous store to The company of department stores, owned by Frédéric Merlin. An operation carried out under an affiliation contract which raises questions about the preservation of jobs.

Since 1924, the Galeries Lafayette de Dijon have been enthroned in the rue de la Liberté. However, this legendary store was to experience an unprecedented upheaval in its history. The Galeries Lafayette group, owned by the Moulin family, has decided to separate from its store in Côte-d’Or.

A separation in the form of an affiliation – a contract similar to the franchise regime – which should see the Lyon group La Société des Grands Magasins buy back the business and the building. “This operation is not so unprecedented because we already have 22 stores under the affiliation regime”, explains Stéphane Piesset, manager of the Galeries Lafayette store in Dijon.

This contract should not change much for the customers of the famous store since the “Galeries Lafayette” brand will not change and the premises will remain rue de la Liberté. The store manager even looks favorably on this operation. “It will allow us to improve our local roots. We leave a family group to find another family group which is also very ambitious. This is good news for the employees, for the store but also for the city center of Dijon, which will remain very dynamic. “

What about employees

But the question of preserving jobs remains at the center of this affiliation. The Dijon store employs nearly 180 people, including 90 employees of the Galeries Lafayette group. The concern is therefore appropriate for the employees of the store. “We are going to enter into negotiations to try to protect the employees as best we can, argues Frédéric Hacquart, CFDT central union delegate. As long as we haven’t signed an agreement, we have no insurance, but I don’t see Galeries Lafayette abandoning its employees. We must preserve wages, social gains, everything that means that, in addition to our salary, we have additional purchasing power. “

Especially since the economic situation of the stores is not in good shape. “For years, the payroll of Galeries Lafayette has not stopped falling, the business is changing, we have far fewer customers than before”, notes Frédéric Hacquart. “The idea is to perpetuate the site and the jobs, so nothing will change for the employees of the store. Our store is working well ”, tempers Stéphane Piesset, even if he recognizes “That at this stage, there is no visibility on the store’s future project”.

Of the 22 affiliations already made by the Galeries Lafayette group, no closure is to be deplored. But Frédéric Hacquart remains cautious: “When you’ve been working with the same employer for 30 years, the question everyone asks is: what will happen with the new manager? “

Continue reading on these topics