JB Martin, a well-known French shoe company, was put into liquidation by the Paris Commercial Court on June 2, 2020. After several years of difficulties, the company suffered a death blow from the Covid-19 pandemic. Two weeks after the court ruling, its 125 employees received their letters of dismissal. The shops and factory outlets had already closed their doors on June 3.
But the Grenoble-based e-commerce group Spartoo has just announced in a press release that it has acquired the brand and its accompanying assets for an undisclosed price.
JB Martin shoes are already available on the site of the French shoe and apparel retailer. Besides the JB Martin brand of women’s dress shoes, which is positioned in the medium-high segment of the market, Spartoo also obtained the brands Christian Pellet and Un matin d’été with the acquisition. Before its liquidation, JB Martin was a footwear licensee for several brands including Kenzo, Eden Park, Paul & Joe and Christian Pellet.
“The JB Martin, Christian Pellet and Un matin d’été brands will establish solid, long-term partnerships with suppliers and manufacturers, all linked by the desire to achieve excellence,” Spartoo said in a statement.
Founded in 1921 by Jean-Baptiste Martin, the company had been affected by numerous redundancy plans, the last of which was in 2009, when 70 people working in production were laid off. It had as many as 1,200 to 1,400 employees in the 1970s. In 2017, the group was placed in receivership by the Paris-based court.
This is the latest acquisition for Spartoo, after GBB, a French brand which makes shoes for children, in 2017 and André group in 2018 – although it sold the latter after 18 months to the previous owner, François Feijoo. This year, Spartoo also acquired Easy Peasy from the Noël group, which was put into liquidation in the autumn of 2019. Easy Peasy is an eco-friendly brand that makes baby booties.
Spartoo.com was launched by three young friends – Boris Saragaglia, Paul Lorne and Jérémie Touchard – in August 2016. The business was named after the ancient leather sandals from the city of Sparta, in ancient Greece. Today the French e-tailer has around 1,000 employees and posts revenues of about €250 million.
It has not given any details yet on its strategy for relaunching JB Martin.