Competing with Action and B&M, French Noz suddenly closed 24 stores

The pioneer of French clearance stores announced in early September the closure of more than twenty stores (bringing the total number of closures since February to 34). A strange decision when the French especially like this type of store.

Is it better to leave the half-empty stores open or close them permanently? To this question, the French destocker Noz gives a clear answer. In early September, this French brand, which has 305 points of sale in France for a turnover of 550 million euros, surprised its customers by announcing the sudden closure of 24 of them.

“It has not escaped you, the product offer has decreased: in the last 2 years, the economic context has caused supply difficulties for our suppliers, specified the group on its Facebook page. The opportunities to buy due to the small , we no longer have the possibility to properly supply our 325 NOZ stores. In order to continue our concept of destocking and upgrading products, we have taken the decision to close 24 less efficient points of sale.”

As LSA magazine said, in recent weeks the regional press has often launched new closures of Noz. In the west with Lorient, Le Mans or Saint-Brieuc, the Grand Est with stores in Forbach and Woippy or even in the north of the country with Lens or Courrières, one of the oldest of the group with 22. years of existence .

This bleeding follows a first salvo that occurred last spring with the closure of at least five stores including Isbergues (Pas-de-Calais) which reopened less than a year ago after the first closing in 2020. In total, 34 stores have closed according to our count since February.

The list of Noz stores will be closed in 2022
02 Chauny
02 St-Quentin
03 Yzeure
14 Cliff
22 Saint-Brieuc
26 Savasse
45 Saran
49 arrows
51 Vitry-le-Francois
52 Joinville
53 Chateau-Gonthier
53 Evron
54 Conflans-en-Jarnisy
56 Questembert
57 Forbach
59 Jokes
61 Flowers
62 Bapume
62 Calais 3
62 Couriers
62 Division
62 Isbergues
62 lenses
63 Lemps
71 Montceau-les-Mines
72 La Ferte Bernard
72 Le Mans 2 (Avenue Durand)
76 Gonfreville-l’Orcher
87 Couzeix
87 San Junien
88 Raon-l’Etape

Same disappointment for Forbach on the Moselle. Closed in September 2020 due to the Covid crisis, the store located in the city center reopened with much excitement in January of this year. The company shared an enthusiastic press release on its site. Only to close it again eight months later.

The action and B&M offensive

Will Noz face more competition from two other destocking giants, Dutch Action and English B&M? The first opened almost 700 stores in France in almost 10 years and the second, which bought the Babou brand, is already in 110 cities with the concept of very large surfaces. But these two groups walk in the flowers of the French Noz.

Like him, their range mainly consists of destocking products, end of series, unsold promotions, judicial liquidations or even food products with a short deadline… So there is decorative products, miscellaneous equipment, make-up, textiles, groceries, DIY.

An offer where more and more brands are scraping the French market to offer a complete range for their customers. But while the market had only a few brands a few years ago (Noz, Centrakor and la Foir’Fouille or Gifi), the arrival of foreign giants with purchasing capacities at the European level is wrong in the historical Noz.

“There are no longer enough products to supply the stores, said consumer specialist Olivier Dauvers.

“Besides, those that remain open are in short supply. The destocking market is caught in a vice. On the one hand, openings have increased over the past ten years; and, on the other, manufacturers have organize a little better every day to limit. the use of destocking Result: even if there are customers at the door, things disappear”, he continued.

The Lens store, for example, which opened almost two years ago, saw the opening of a new Action store in Sains-en-Gohelle, just a few kilometers away. This is the fifth establishment of an Action in Artois, the Lensoise region…

“We learned it on Thursday for Saturday”

And who says less products say inevitable decline in activity. The historic Courrières store in Pas-de-Calais, which is one of the locomotives of the group, has lost 24% of its turnover since 2016. The store, which was sold 6 years ago for more than 1.5 million euros of products sold only more than 1.17 million in 2021, while the market for destocking brands is growing (12 billion euros in France in 2021).

A blow for store employees who felt it coming.

“We learned this Thursday at the end of the day, for Saturday, explained Léa and Alisson at the beginning of September in La Voix du Nord. We thought there would be a brewing, because we had no delivery for a week We paid the accumulation of bad years.”

Are these isolated cases or is this the brand created in 1976 by Rémy Adrion (291st fortune in France according to Challenges) going through a global crisis? Very wisely, the direction of the group did not want to answer.

At the end of last August, however, it opened the doors to the cameras of the program Capital de M6 to praise the excellence of the training of its buyers, emphasis on the particular rewards offered to its buyers, keystones of the Noz empire. Bonuses, internally organized games (pedal kart races, etc.), rankings with, for the most successful buyers, discounts on yellow jerseys or polka-dot jerseys… The future is easy to tell if these recent closures are a bit of a push or fall behind the pack.

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