Some City shops could be saved, says minister
(CS/ham) Luxembourg's Minister for Middle Classes, Françoise Hetto-Gaasch, has said that some shops in the centre of the capital might yet be saved, after the managing company filed for bankruptcy earlier this week.
Shoppers on Thursday found 17 stores in the capital closed, including mostly high-end boutiques, such as Loft, Butterfly, Marc Jacobs and Sonia Rykiel. Additional stores in Esch/Alzette and the shopping centres Auchan and Belle Etoile were also affected, bringing the total number of bankrupt shops up to around two dozen.
All these stores had been managed by two French businessmen.
Minister Hetto-Gaasch confirmed on Thursday that their company has filed for bankruptcy.
However, she added that the parent brands of some of the shops have expressed an interest in taking over the premises.
President of the “Union Commerciale de la Ville de Luxembourg” (UCVL) Guill Kaempff on Thursday said that meetings with the bankruptcy manager and the property owners were planned to ensure that the shops will reopen as quickly as possible.
Around 100 staff are thought to be affected by the failure of the business venture, which saw the French duo open one luxury store after another in the centre.
Hetto-Gaasch said that the situation was regrettable, especially as the aggressive business tactics had seen rents spiral in the centre, pushing out smaller, independent stores.
However, she added that the ministry can usually not intervene in disputes between property owners and tenants. According to Hetto-Gaasch, the ministry is working on a bill addressing issues such as the duration of a lease and rent increases, “so that both parties have more planning security.”