Wednesday, January 19

New Balance stores announce the collective dismissal of the 250 employees in Spain and Portugal and the closure of the 22 stores between January 10 and 15

The sportswear multinational New Balance, through the current operator of stores / retail in Spain and Portugal, Experience Group, has already informed the employees of its 22 establishments in Spain and Portugal of the closure between January 10 and 15 and the collective dismissal (ERE of extinction) of the entire workforce.

On Tuesday, December 28, the company delivered a letter to the employees of both the stores and the outlets in which it reported the initiation of the collective dismissal, taking advantage of article 51.2 of the Workers’ Statute and urging the staff to choose a representation of workers from each center to meet with the company and deliver the relevant documentation on January 4, through the Experience Store, the company that operates its merchandise in Iberia.

This decision has taken workers by surprise, especially when sales were picking up notably after the worst months of the pandemic and mainly because in this year 2021 several new stores had been opened in premium areas, including two in Madrid and one in Bilbao, which were giving excellent results.

One of those affected, Jesse C. García, a retail manager in Madrid, expresses the feeling of disbelief and surprise for himself and his colleagues: “A closure like this is very surprising. Let it be so sudden with circumstances as favorable as the current ones and with the brand growing, because people are left in check. Nobody knows the reasons and I hope they explain them ”. It also shows its bewilderment because this same year stores “that are profitable” have been opened and therefore “it shows that no one expected this”.

The argument for the commitment to ‘online’ commerce does not convince workers and as Jesse points out “I don’t believe it about the online channel. They are justifying themselves. In the sector, most brands know that the physical store is very important, even more so after the time of the pandemic and that it makes no sense to close ”.

The 250 affected people who will go on strike is the hardest thing for the retail manager: “Many people go to the streets and have left their lives here. There are many committed people who know the level of the business, how the staff works and the billing. That is why they do not understand anything and they go into unemployment with mortgages, some are going to be parents, and many families are involved ”.

According to the company’s own forecasts, this year they had to match the turnover figures prior to the covid-19. In 2020, New Balance had a turnover in Spain of 53.3 million without counting the ‘online’ channel, 31% less than the previous year.

Apart from the 250 direct jobs that will be eliminated, it is estimated that the closure will also have an impact on many indirect jobs that serve the stores such as logistics, cleaning, administration, security, etc.

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