French Noël group close to bankruptcy as shoes for kids limp along

Sneakers great popularity, sport brands competition and dropping births. Because of these factors, French Noël group, specialized in the manufacturing of shoes for kids, have gone bankrupt. The commercial Court of Rennes granted the company an extension to their activities until 15th December. 89 employees are involved in the matter, 62 of whom currently work in the group’s headquarters. The shoe factory also manufactures in Tunisia: around 700 employees work over there.

Decreasing revenues

In 2007, overall revenues of Noël shoe factory, founded in 1927 and owner of Babybotte, Noël-Kids, Mary Isa-Minibel and Easy Peasy brands, amounted to 105 million euros in total. Yet, at the end of last financial year, ended in April 2019, earnings coming from sales just reached 18 million euros. Formerly, in December 2014, the company had to fire a few employees, while in 2016 the commercial Court of Pau had endorsed the company’s reorganization plan. In the following five years, the portfolio of orders had been enjoying a recovery apparently, but things have gone worse since winter 2018.

The reasons for crisis

Patrick Noël, chief executive officer of the group, illustrated the crisis this way: sneakers trend (“young moms who have been traditionally wearing sneakers buy them for their kids as well”); sport brands competition and dropping births. The group’s branches, based in Tunisia, are not directly affected by what is going on in France, “yet, for sure, these companies might be hit by the following events in the future”, remarked Noël himself.


Noël group’s management members are currently talking to several potential buyers to ensure the ongoing activity of the company brands and guarantee deliveries scheduled for summer 2020. Buyers can submit their bids, before commercial Court, until October 11 (deadline): at that point, we shall see if anybody is actually interested in buying out the French company or, alternatively, its brands.

Picture taken from Instagram account


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