“Unlike marmots, we made reserves in the winter to spend the summer and we have no more reserves”Francis Charbonnel, president of the Snow Performances group, manager of several winter sports shops, warned on franceinfo on Saturday. The owners of 200 stores located in French ski resorts are appealing to the government for help for appropriate aid. In this column entitled “The mountain in bankruptcy”, iThey consider that with the closure of the ski lifts until at least January due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the season is “death” and they are “sacrificed”.
“Out of all the signatories, we are at – 95% of turnover”, deplores Francis Charbonnel. “A whole mountain economy is threatened”, assures the president of the Snow Performances group. He quotes the “shops that are in the resort” and “by domino effect”, “lots of jobs in the valleys”.
State aid for businesses “will not be enough” to these specialized stores which concentrate most of their turnover during the winter, alert Francis Charbonnel.
We put up with the decisions but we accept them. However, what we cannot accept is having businesses that are sacrificed.
Francis Charbonnel does not believe in a reopening of ski lifts in ski resorts on January 7 as envisaged by the government. He explains that the stations are “vides” and that reservations cancellations for February are already increasing. “With the news which is not reassuring, people say to themselves ‘it will not open so we go elsewhere’”, regrets the president of Snow Performances.
According to him, the season is therefore “death” but the previous one also hurt the stores, putting them in a “terrible economic situation”. The closing of the stations on March 15, 2020 came to “when our cash cycles started to regenerate and therefore we ended up without cash”, explains Francis Charbonnel.