The Board of Gresvig Retail Group AS has today filed for bankruptcy, but the stores remain open.
Gresvig has for a number of years run sports shops under two chain names: G-sport / G-Max and Intersport.
The bankruptcy petition has been filed at Heggen and Frøland District Court, and includes all proprietary stores. 100 franchise stores are not affected by the bankruptcy.
Like a hole in the hull
Gresvig’s CEO Lars Kristian Lindberg believes that today’s store structures and associated costs are not managable.
“It’s like emptying water from a boat with a hole in the hull,” he says.
Over the last three years, more than NOK 1 billion has been invested in the company, says Olav Nils Sunde, Chairman of the Board of Gresvig Retail Group AS and O N Sunde AS.
– However, we cannot justify providing the company with additional resources without a fundamental change in the Group’s total operational costs. Today’s cost level is simply not adapted to market conditions, says Sunde. The shipowner is also a major shareholder in Color Group ASA, which owns Color Line.
2,200 employees are affected
In total, the Gresvig Group consists of just under 95 self-owned stores with more than 2,200 employees and sales in 2019 of NOK 3.2 billion.
– I am sorry for the uncertainty this creates for our employees, but I believe we have laid a good foundation on which I hope any new owner will be interested in building on, says Lindberg, who took office a year ago.
The bancruptcy Trustee Håvard Wiker of Ro Sommernes law firm , says an agreement that ensures normal operations is already in place and that all the usual employment conditions will continue for the time being.
– We are working to lay the foundations for permanent ongoing operations. This means that all the stores, both proprietary and franchise stores, will remain open as usual. The agreement also ensures payment for deliveries as granted after bankruptcy proceedings, says Wiker.
In August, the company tried to wind down G-sport and G-Max and transfer them into the Intersport chain. This did not succeed however.
This is the most dramatic day in the Norwegian sports industry ever, says CEO Trond Evald Hansen of the Norwegian Sports Industry Association to E24.
He believes the mild winter weather became the nail in the coffin for the sports equipment giant.
“Gresvig is a brand that is very strong, and it has always been a big and solid player in the Norwegian sports industry,” he said, adding that in a previous survey the group had a market share of just under 30 per cent among the sports chains.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today