What do Kiabi, Intersport, Monoprix and Decathlon have in common? They find that their rents are increasingly heavy, to the point that they dangerously weaken their economic model. Commercial rents are partially indexed to inflation. The commercial rent index, which serves as the basis for their revaluation, soared by 6.29% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2022.
For households and MSMEs, the government capped this increase at 3.5% last year. This measure is about to be renewed: it was extended until the beginning of 2024 last week in the National Assembly. It is examined from Monday in the Economic Affairs Committee in the Senate.
" READ ALSO Merchants demand the generalization of the cap on the increase in commercial rents
But the brands deplore the fact of still not being concerned by this device. "The Minister for Trade, Olivia Grégoire, believes that the big brands can negotiate by mutual agreement with their donors. But so far, these negotiations have yielded nothing, laments Emmanuel Le Roch, the general delegate of Procos, one of the main federations of brands. Less than 10% of landlords have agreed to adjust their rents. 12% to 13% increase over two years while our sales volumes are decreasing, it's unbearable. Thousands of stores will not be able to support it.»
Sharp rise in costs
Faced with the urgency of the situation, 150 brands (Petit Bateau, Action, Maisons du Monde, Jacadi, Decathlon, Chaussea, Monoprix, Fnac Darty, Quick...) signed this Monday an open letter addressed to parliamentarians, asking them to extend the rent cap to all companies regardless of their size. "In our companies, rents and real estate charges represent the first and second largest expense of our businesses, and this situation is getting worse. This increase is totally disconnected from the current reality of our activities, "point out the bosses of these brands.
12% to 13% increase over two years while our sales volumes are declining, it's unbearable
Emmanuel Le Roch, General Delegate of Procos
They point out that the chains are facing a sharp rise in costs, while their volume sales are declining. Like other companies, they are affected by rising energy prices and wages, at a time when they need to invest to meet new environmental obligations (installation of solar panels on roofs, energy renovation of buildings, etc.). Even of substantial size, the brands suffer from this situation. Go Sport, La Grande Récré, Camaïeu, San Marina, André and Kookaï have recently filed for bankruptcy. Liquidated, Camaïeu closed all its stores. If there is a recovery, it nevertheless often results in the closure of certain points of sale.
The signatories stress to MEPs the social impact of these closures. "Public authorities at national and local level are investing several billion euros in revitalising the centres of medium-sized cities. So that these investments are not reduced to nothing, it is urgent to act so that the explosion of rents does not further accelerate the commercial desertification of our country, "they stress.