Shanghai La Chapelle group buys Naf Naf

A Chinese investment group led by Shanghai La Chapelle Fashion has paid €52 million (US$64 million) to acquire French fashion chain Naf Naf, part of the Vivarte group.

European clothing retailer Vivarte has owned Naf Naf since buying it from Parisian brothers Patrick Patrick and Gérard Pariente, who founded the brand in 1973, for €200 million.

It is the first foreign investment for La Chapelle, China’s largest cheap women’s apparel retailer, which has 9448 stores, 37,544 employees and a €1.2 billion turnover in China itself.

Vivarte says La Chapelle will open 500 Naf Naf stores in China over the next five years and another 30 in Europe. Naf Naf now has 474 points of sale and 1200 employees.

The Naf Naf sale is part of a major restructuring program for Vivarte. The French retail group needs to clear a €600 million debt and already sold shoe chains Andre and Pataugas and women’s clothing brand Kookai. It is also ready to sell Besson (shoes) and Chevignon (men’s fashion).

CEO Patrick Puy wants to turn Vivarte’s attention to five core brands: Caroll, Cosmoparis, La Halle, Minelli and San Marina. The money from the Naf Naf sale will go toward its most important asset, La Halle, which generates €1 billion in turnover (on overall €1.8 billion group turnover), but faces competition from H&M, Primark and e-commerce outlets.


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