Douglas closures to go ahead

Perfumery chain agrees to close 38 outlets in order to finalise merger with Nocibé

Perfumery chain Parfumeries Douglas (the French arm of German group Douglas Holding) has agreed to close 38 outlets in order to finalise its merger with Nocibé – a merger that makes the new company the largest in France in terms of outlets and the second largest in terms of turnover, behind Sephora.

The move was requested by France’s competition regulator, L’Autorité de la Concurrence, which identified 32 locations where outlets would need to close in order to prevent the new company from having a local monopoly. The closures will consist of 13 own-name stores and 25 franchises. The aim of the competition authority is to keep the Douglas-Nocibé share of the market to below 50%.

“In these zones,” said the Authority in its statement, “the parties’ points of sale accumulate to effectively form so strong a market that competitors cannot exert sufficient pressure to constrain the behaviour of the new entity, particularly in terms of price. In order to maintain lively competition in these catchment areas, Douglas has agreed that 38 outlets will be leaving its network.” Douglas has also agreed not to make any attempt to repurchase the closed outlets for at least ten years.

Patricia Mansfield-Devine, Rennes

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