“We are deeply sorry about this, both for our own people and for our customers. We did everything we could to avoid it, but in the end it wasn’t enough. It has been a very tough decision to have to make”. These are the words of Massimo Pulcinelli, speaking the day after the news broke, in the local press, of the imminent closure of Ottimax in Afragola (near Naples).
The date has now been confirmed. The store will close its doors for the last time on 28 February 2019; this is yet another closure for a site that, over the years, has also seen other operators come and go: first Castorama and then Leroy Merlin. There are various reasons for this. In addition to the position, which is clearly not the best, blame can also be attached to the current market situation and the presence of other competitors.
All in all, it is not an easy location, albeit one that initially (October 2015) seemed promising thanks, in part, to the presence of partners – we may cite Megawatt – that were deeply integrated in the area and the fabric of local commerce. Here in southern Italy, where the establishment of relationships as well as familiarity with and loyalty towards brands count for more than they do elsewhere in Italy, ultimately, the decision of the Casoria-based partner to leave Ottimax was bound to hurt the Campania store.
Sixty-seven people – not 100 as reported in other media – will lose their jobs as a result of the closure. And the Group has offered them the possibility to join the staff of the new Ottimax store that is opening in June in Catania. The offer was unveiled only yesterday, therefore it is still too soon to know how many of them, if any, will take it up.