here’s where, since and why

here’s where, since and why
here’s where, since and why
Carpet closures for shops Douglas in Italy in 2021. The German perfume chain has announced that will close stores in many cities, to invest turnover in wider projects related in particular toe-commerce. In fact, online sales were the highest revenue in 2020, compared to slight decrease in turnover obtained in the physical locations of the stores.

Therefore, with the month of March 2021 128 stores will close Douglas for a total of 457 male and female workers involved. The trade unions are on a war footing and consider this choice unacceptable.

Douglas closes 128 stores: the cities involved

The German perfume chain has already canceled numerous store leases.

Between cities involved from the Douglas store closures there are mainly the Provinces of Lombardy, but also numerous points of sale throughout the Italian territory:

  • 20 stores in Lombardy (9 between Milan and the province, 5 between Brescia and the province, one in Mantua and the province, 2 in Varese, and one for each of the territories of Bergamo, Lecco and Monza Brianza);
  • 6 stores in Piedmont (4 between Turin and the province, one in the Alessandria area and one in the Biella area);
  • 5 stores in Friuli Venezia Giulia (one in the Trieste area and 4 in the Udine area);
  • 6 stores in Veneto (3 in the Padua area, one each in the Treviso, Verona and Vicenza areas);
  • 8 stores in Emilia-Romagna (2 in Bologna, one each in Modena, Parma, Ferrara, Forlì-Cesena, Reggio Emilia, Piacenza);
  • 12 stores in Sardinia (4 in Cagliari, 2 in Sassari, 2 in Nuoro, 2 in Olbia, one in Carbonia and one in Medio Campidano);
  • 5 stores in Liguria (2 in La Spezia, one each in the territories of Genoa, Savona and Imperia);
  • 17 stores in Tuscany (2 in Florence, one in Prato, 3 in Siena, 3 in Pisa, 2 in Livorno, 2 in Pistoia, 2 in Grosseto, one in Massa and one in Arezzo);
  • 5 shops in the Marche (4 in the territory of Ancona, one in Fano).

Some of the stores lowered their shutters in February 2021, while for others the date was set for March 2021.

Douglas, the drop in turnover and the reasons for the closure

The pandemic crisis is not the factor that has weighed the most on the decision to close several Douglas stores. Just think, in fact, that the end of 2020 German perfumery had surpassed for the first time billion euros in online sales. The turnover reached 3.2 billion euros, or only 6.4% less than the 3.5 billion euros of the previous year. So what is the real reason for the closure?

Faced with a huge leap in online sales, Douglas has chosen to reduce costs associated with physical stores and freeing up liquidity to invest in other projects, especially in e-commerce. For this reason, it has planned to close around 500 of the 2,400 European stores, especially in southern Europe, and around 60 of the 400 stores in Germany.

In a press release, the company stated that it had “commissioned a company to support the approximately 600 employees of the affected stores in Germany in their professional reorientation “, In addition to predicting severance payments higher than the industry norm.

What happens to Italian workers now?

The unions have set up a meeting with top management for the April 9, “date by which Douglas is expected to submit the business plan revealing the identification criteria used and what are the measures it intends to implement aimed at occupational safeguarding, given that thanks to e-commerce the decrease in turnover was decidedly contained”.

The trade unions Fisascat-Cisl, Filcams-Cgil and Uiltucs-Uil recalled how the block on dismissals envisaged by the Sostegni Decree and extended by the latter until 31 October 2021 is currently in force.

But the trade unions are on a war footing also for the female question: “Closing shops is one unacceptable choice. It is a company that employs predominantly women and, if no solutions are found, this would mark even more the gender gap existing in our country”.

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