Esprit is to close 17 stores in France over the next year and a half

Esprit is to close 17 stores in France over the next year and a half

Fashion brand Esprit is to lay off more than 150 employees in France with the closure of 17 stores over the next year and a half, in an ongoing bid to cut costs.

The Hong Kong based company, which last year tweaked its turnaround plan to focus more on fast fashion, said it will close 17 loss-making stores France, which some reports say is half of its total store count in the country.

"As you know and we announced for a long time Esprit is currently undergoing a transformation process aimed at strengthening its brand and its profitability in the long term," a spokesperson for Esprit told just-style yesterday (12 February).

"Our goal is to offer customers outstanding value for money and win them over with even more attractive products and stores, as well as faster and more efficient structures. This holds especially true for France which is one of our key markets in Europe.

"We are confident that as a result of our transformation plan, customers will benefit in future from a stronger brand, enhanced support for our stores and products offering outstanding value for money."

Last month Esprit's share price rose following the news that it expects to return to profit in the first half. This, the company said, is due to a reduction in operating expenses.