Vivarte - Business Review


About the brand

Vivarte is a group of 15 apparel and footwear brands, and is the largest non-food retailer in France with a turnover of €2.7bn in 2014 and c.17,000 employees. Group brands include French household names such as La Halle, André, Caroll, Kookaï, Naf, Chevignon, Minelli, Cosmoparis, and others.

Vivarte Andre Store

The Challenge/Task

Following several years of debt-driven expansion, Vivarte experienced a sales decline amidst a difficult economic context, leaving the business with a €2.8bn debt burden. As part of a debt restructuring process, the consortium of 150+ lenders commissioned Pragma to undertake an independent business review of Vivarte in 2014.


  • In a compressed timeframe, Pragma reviewed all the conclusions of the work conducted by the IBR provider, supplemented by meetings with the provider and the existing management team. Pragma provided validation and challenge as required, as well as strategic recommendations to the lenders for the turnaround of the business

  • Analysed the store development plan for several major group brands, and provided recommendations for optimising the store estates

  • Detailed trading data analysis to understand and explain the business models in place for each division of Vivarte. This included an evaluation of the strength of the main brands and the key challenges faced by the business

  • Evaluated the strength of concept and value proposition of each business unit, in the context of their relevant competitive markets

  • Conducted an independent assessment of the feasibility of management’s business plan for each of the Group’s main brands

The Result

In June, Vivarte’s lenders took control of the business, cutting its debt by €2 billion and providing a further €500m of cash to support a turnaround under new management. Since then, Pragma has continued to work alongside the lenders and the management team, in order to implement the recommendations made in the original report.