Olivier Piquet would have gone well with the cyberattack that paralyzed Lise Charmel for a month in November 2019, and led the company into receivership. But at the end of the observation period, recorded by the Lyon commercial court on September 30, the general manager of the lingerie manufacturer draws a very positive assessment of this experience so dreaded by business leaders.
The group, thinner but resuscitated, has regained profitability and rising turnover, 40 million euros planned for 2021. After the big air hole in 2020, however, activity has not returned to the level of 2018, i.e. 60 million euros. A small “miracle” all the same after “the total blackout” on the production, but also the creation, the purchases, the logistics, until the e-mails. It had taken a month to restart from scratch, without losing any data, properly backed up. Lise Charmel, three places of creation in Lyon, Paris and Milan, and five clothing workshops in Europe, had not regained its full capacities until September 2020.
2,000 points of sale
However, Olivier Piquet experienced the recovery as a healthy fitness cure, which allowed him to “identify opportunities for development”. Optimization involves half a dozen store closures, in around thirty stores and department store corners (and 600 points of sale in France, 1,400 abroad). But above all by a redesign of the five brands, gathered under the universes of Lise Charmel and Antigel. They will welcome the models and know-how of Enterprise (deep cups), Antinea (special shapes) and Epure, “which will generate significant savings in communication and marketing and will greatly facilitate management”, explains Olivier Piquet.
“I discovered the recovery experts: the president of the court, the judge-commissioner, the agents, the administrators… They are not there to teach us our profession but to make us ask the right questions He said, grateful.
The commercial court has above all “the best legal arsenal in Europe” with creditors. “With the goodwill of the banks,” he enabled a complete restructuring of the debt. “We played the game by not asking for a EMP,” says the leader. Up to date with its contributions, and reduced by a hundred jobs to return to 800 people, “the company leaves with a liabilities halved and generate cash again “. Despite a restart “at low speed” in the health crisis, caution imposed on customers and Lise Charmel “not to overstock”. “We therefore have a good margin of progress”, considers Olivier Piquet.