Smyths acquires PicWic Toys as part of its expansion into France

SMYTHS Toys has started expanding into the French market after acquiring PicWic Toys.

icWic Toys was founded in France in 2019 following the merger of the PicWic and Toys ‘R’ Us’ businesses. The French retailer was placed under receivership by the Lille Commercial Court at its own request in May.

PicWic Toys has 45 stores with around 800 employees in France.

The group completed a restructuring in 2020 that saw 447 job cuts and the closure of 23 of the stores it was then operating in the wake of Covid and social protests in France.

At the end of 2020, PicWic Toys reported sales of €237.5 million and a loss of €88.1 million, compared to a loss of €32.4 million the year before.

A spokesman for Smyths Toys confirmed the company would acquire 41 of the remaining 45 stores, as well as two warehouses and a head office.

Smyths will also make €9 million available to creditors of the PicWic Toys business and contribute €300,000 to the group’s social plan.

Also, the French retailer’s current account will be debited with 50 million euros to fund the relaunch ahead of the upcoming Christmas demand.

According to French public TV channel France 3, Smyths was one of several companies vying to take over the retailer in early July.

Lille Commercial Court President Eric Feldmann said Smyths’ offer was chosen because of its experience in bringing ailing toy shops back to viability.

The family company Mayo took over the Toys’R Us activities in Austria, Switzerland and Germany in 2018.

The spokesperson added, “We welcome the team and loyal customers of PicWic to the Smyths Toys Group, which is a great starting point for our expansion.”

“We founded the company more than thirty years ago and are very grateful to our customers, our employees and our suppliers for the support we have received during this time.”

“We are convinced of the future of multichannel toy retail and confident that we can successfully launch and expand our brand in France,” added the spokesman.

Smyths operates 138 stores in Ireland and the UK and 93 stores in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/smyths-acquires-picwic-toys-as-it-expands-into-france-41841101.html Smyths acquires PicWic Toys as part of its expansion into France

Fry Electronics Team

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