On July 28, a commercial court based in Grenoble, France, authorized François Feijoo to take over from Aug. 5 the footwear retailer André. The company filed for bankruptcy on March 23 after its owner Spartoo was unable to obtain sufficient financing to continue the business.

Feijoo was the only investor to make an offer to pursue the activity of the company which was founded in 1896. He made a €7.8 million offer for the retailer that will be streamlined to 55 stores from 188, while 188 employees will be made redundant and 221 retained.

Despite the layoffs, the Feijoo has the support of the trade unions. However, they plan to sue Spartoo to ensure that the company provides €3.5 million to finance the severance packages of the staff losing their jobs.

Feijoo ran André from 2005 to 2013 and then became chief executive of the rival footwear chain Eram from July 2013 to December 2019.

Spartoo, a French e-commerce platform specializing in shoes and clothing, bought André in 2018 from Vivarte, with plans to expand the company’s sales by 70 percent to €250 million and increase the headcount from 400 people to more than 1,000.

But last year, André ended up with a net loss of €10 million on sales of about €100 million after being hit by the “yellow jackets” movement in France, as well as strikes against pension reforms.