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France's Eram selling discount fashion pioneer Tati
February 28, 2017 / 1:55 PM / 9 months ago

France's Eram selling discount fashion pioneer Tati

PARIS (Reuters) - Tati, the iconic cut-price shop whose historic store stands near the capital’s Sacre Coeur monument, is up for sale.

Family-controlled retailer Eram said on Tuesday that it had decided to sell its loss-making Agora Distribution unit, which owns the Tati brand, amongst others.

“Eram wishes to sell Agora and has mandated a bank to find a buyer,” a group spokeswoman said, confirming a report from fashion website Boutique2mode.

Eram, controlled by its founding Biotteau family and also the owner of the Bocage, Eram, Mellow Yellow and Heyraud shoe brands, bought Tati in 2003.

Tati, which is well-known in France for its bright pink logo, started in 1948 in Paris when Jules Ouaki, a Tunisian and a pioneer in the low-cost textile market, opened the first store on boulevard de Rochechouart in the Barbes immigrant district of northern Paris, just downhill from the Sacre Coeur.

A combination of low prices written on large labels and the presentation of the merchandise in bulk was a hit in post-war France, and from the 1990s Tati expanded abroad while also diversifying into jewelry and optics.

However, Tati has since been racking up losses amid increasing competition from low-cost fashion retail giants such as H&M (HMb.ST), Zara (ITX.MC) or discount fashion retailer Primark (ABF.L), and Eram had already tried to sell it in 2015.

Agora employs 1,720 people and operates 140 stores, of which 130 are under the Tati brand. It lost 37 million euros ($39.23 million) in 2015 on revenues of 356 million euros.

Reporting by Pascale Denis; Writing by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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