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Aldo’s Making a French Connection

Two years after it filed for bankruptcy, Aldo is planning to reboot its business in France.

The 50-year-old Canadian footwear and accessories company signed a master franchise agreement with European distributor Spartoo, which will manage Aldo’s stores and online sales in France. As the official franchisee, Spartoo will work with Aldo to grow the label’s presence in the French market. The companies didn’t say when the first stores would open.

“As a global fashion destination, France has always been a strategic market, and having such a strong and innovative partner to join our brand is a sign of Aldo’s unique position and strength in the global footwear and handbag market. We’re thrilled to be working with Spartoo and are excited for our growth plans in the market,” said Michel Fahmy, vice president at Aldo Group International.

Spartoo co-founder and CEO Boris Saragaglia said the distributor’s “omnichannel positioning” was key to securing the Aldo deal. He pointed to Spartoo’s work with “more than 16 proprietary brands,” which has helped build loyalty and drive sales.

“With this partnership, Spartoo is once again demonstrating the technological know-how it has developed over the years and which we chose to internalize,” Saragaglia added.

Aldo products are sold through 1,500 stores and online in more than 100 countries. The current CEO David Bensadoun, who replaced Patrik Frisk in the role in 2017, is the son of company founder Aldo Bensadoun.

Aldo first filed for bankruptcy in Québec in May 2020 two months after the pandemic started and also filed in the U.S. and Switzerland. The company subsequently pulled out of several markets while it restructured.

Last month, Aldo’s North American creditors approved its restructuring plan, but the company still needs the green light for its restructuring deal in Switzerland before it can put its bankruptcy days in the rearview mirror.

Spartoo distributes fashion items across footwear, ready-to-wear and bags from 10,000 brands and over 1.2 million items in more than 30 European countries. Last year, it generated gross merchandise value of 214 million euros ($223 million), with 41 percent generated internationally. Spartoo said its integrated logistics platform and after-sales service focus on a customer-centric approach.