Pernod Ricard’s French model is based on two companies and two distribution subsidiaries (Pernod and Ricard), which has become ‘overly complex and lacks agility’. In response, the organisation is consolidating the two into a single company, Pernod Ricard France, with effect from July 1, 2020.
Over the last two years, group sales for Pernod Ricard in France have declined €60m ($65.5m). It attributes this to deflationary pressure, the impact of the Egalim Law (a French law seeking to balance trade relations in the agricultural sector and healthy and sustainable food) and the emergence of a new concept of ‘convivialité’ among consumers.
By creating Pernod Ricard France through a project named ‘Reconquer!’, Pernod Ricard believes it can win back consumers with a ‘unified and optimised portfolio and bold innovation plan’. A single network and a more streamlined organisation will also help the company become more agile.
The head of the new entity will be located in Marseille, in the new Docks business district.
Pernod Ricard's brands include Absolut Vodka, Ricard and 51 pastis, Havana Club rum, Martell cognac, Beefeater gin, Mumm Champagne and Jacob's Creek wines.
Labour negotiations with trade unions
Jobs under question are primarily those in sales and marketing.
“The proposed merger of the two companies would lead to approximately 280 roles being open to voluntary redundancy,” says Pernod Ricard. “These would involve the sales and marketing departments affected by the new business combination. This organisation would also create new career development opportunities for employees with the planned creation of around 90 new roles to support this new strategy.
“The introduction of this structure would rely on a voluntary approach. A voluntary redundancy scheme including support measures, in line with best practices in our sector, would then be proposed to the employees concerned. The success of this project will therefore be the result of ongoing labour negotiations initiated as of today with the Ricard and Pernod trade unions.”
Pernod Ricard has also announced the proposed disposal of the wine brand Café de Paris and the Cubzac production site to InVivo Wine, the wine division of the French agricultural cooperative InVivo.
This project would be completed with a guarantee to safeguard the jobs of the site’s 29 employees, says Pernod Ricard. The two parties are in talks to establish a sub-contracting agreement for the brands not sold to InVivo.