The Royer Group, a well-established footwear company with a legacy of 75 years, is currently facing the possibility of a significant restructuring. Jacques Royer, the company’s chairman, recently informed employees that a restructuring plan has been developed to address the current challenges. This plan is expected to lead to the reduction of approximately 200 jobs out of the 500 currently held by the company in France. Discussions with employee representative groups have commenced and are ongoing to address the crisis facing the business.

These discussions, which began on September 8th, are focused on the group’s five sites in the region. However, specific details regarding the affected roles are not yet available. In the coming weeks, the company will define the parameters of this plan more clearly. The Royer Group, a major player in the footwear industry, achieved a turnover of €300 million ($349.6 million) in 2019. About 45% of this turnover came from exports, and the company sold over 20 million pairs of shoes. Its portfolio includes renowned brands such as Kickers & Co, Mod8, Von Dutch, Kélian, Charles Jourdan, and Hungaria. Additionally, the Royer Group holds footwear licenses from Freegun, PSG, Ushuaïa, CR7, Rica Lewis, and Dim. Moreover, the company serves as a distribution partner for brands like Umbro, Everlast, and New Balance.

The termination of its partnership with New Balance, a prominent U.S. sports brand, has raised concerns about the future prospects of Royer Group. Although the addition of Canterbury to its brand portfolio might partially compensate for the loss, it is unlikely to fully replace the popular running shoe giant. The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on shoe retailers’ networks, as well as the company’s own stores, has further compounded the issue.

To ensure competitiveness across various sectors, Royer Group has diversified its expertise by entering sourcing, distribution, and retail. This diversification requires significant investments. The company collaborates with large-scale distribution businesses and independent multi-brand retailers in France and internationally. Additionally, Royer Group operates through its own retail networks and e-commerce platforms, offering products across different price points ranging from entry level to luxury and sportswear. The company’s operations are spread across five workplace sites in France: Fougères (where its headquarters is located), Maleville in Aveyron, Sèvres, Cholet, and Arques in Pas de Calais. With a total of 46,000 square meters of logistics space, the company also has subsidiaries in Germany, Spain, and Portugal, as well as offices in Asia, employing approximately 250 individuals.

As the Royer Group undergoes this restructuring process, it remains committed to navigating the challenges and evolving demands of the footwear industry. The company aims to maintain its position as a leader in the trade by adapting to market changes, optimizing logistics, and creating innovative products. Although the road ahead may be uncertain, the Royer Group’s rich history and resilient spirit equip it with the strength to overcome these obstacles and continue providing quality footwear to consumers worldwide.

Useful links:
1. Royer Group Official Website
2. CNN Article on Royer Group’s 70th Anniversary Celebrations