Without waiting for the automatic revaluation of the minimum wage of 0.9% at 1is January 2022, the management of Paraboot has already provided for the reassessment of the salaries of all of its workers during 2022. Including those who are paid above the minimum wage. The French shoe brand had already made increases in 2021, despite falling sales in 2020.
“It is important to remain competitive”, explains Eric Forestier, Managing Director of Paraboot. Because, like its competitors, including JM Weston in Limoges, the manufacturer is facing recruitment difficulties at its plant in Saint-Jean-de-Moirans (Isère), which employs 95 people. The manager knows that some of his employees recently resigned to “Earn 100 to 200 euros more” in one of the neighboring companies of this Centr’Alp 2 industrial zone, on the outskirts of Grenoble.
According to Mr. Forestier, the agglomeration counted “More than 6,000 job offers at the end of October”, that is to say twice more than in October 2020. And the company, which releases 6% to 8% of net profit each year, may well offer average salaries of « 2,000 to 2,200 euros gross ”, plus bonuses, profit-sharing, participations and a thirteenth month, it struggles to attract new recruits.
Fourteen fitter and sewing positions are to be filled in this factory inaugurated in 2017 to replace the two historic sites of Izeaux and Tullins (Isère), around ten kilometers away. Filling these vacant positions would allow the second assembly line, which had been shut down for almost two years, to be restarted. “Lack of arms, good arms”, deplores a worker, Yannick Lefebvre, in front of his machine, alluding to the long time spent training in these manual and physical trades.
To the taste of young people
However, at the end of 2021, increasing production would be welcome. The brand is failing to meet demand. Its sales are up 35% this year; it should generate 20 million euros in turnover, the equivalent of its 2019 financial year. Known for the robustness of its leathers and its thick rubber soles, worn « by priests, winegrowers and lawyers ”, according to an executive, the brand is now to the taste of some young consumers.
Instagram has helped. The brand communicates more on the social network of Facebook, to promote its know-how, publish archive photos, present its models and suggest looks on a long skirt or Bermuda shorts. Starting with the Michael model. Designed in 1945, this extremely simple shoe had already seduced “Students of Dauphine and the Sorbonne, at the end of the 1980s”, while fashion was at « gentleman farmer », recalls Pierre Colin, marketing and communication director of the brand.
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Paraboot shoes victims of their success on Instagram