Synonymous with an old time, home sales did not say its last word with Charlott’. On the contrary, it is changing. Driven by the development of the 150 players in the sector gathered within the Federation of Direct Sales, the market also attracts new entrants such as Bonduelle or Yves Rocher. While its flagship areas of activity remain well-being, textiles and housing, the market for direct sales is diversifying. A figure of Entrepreneurial success in the French way, Charlott’, a lingerie and ready-to-wear company specializing in home sales, has made the choice of this distribution channel since its inception. This market is also interesting to consider on a more local scale. In this regard, New Aquitaine is also doing well.
Charlott’, a business model that works
In 1994, Véronique Garnodier founded Charlott’ Lingerie. Passionate about fashion, this business leader from Lyon first had multiple experiences in dietetics and medical. She is now the head of a home sales giant with a turnover of 24 million euros. Crowned by her peers in 2017, she is selected as one of the favorite entrepreneurs of the French by Les Echos Entrepreneurs. That same year, Charlott’ Lingerie became Charlott’. In order to get closer to its customers, the home lingerie sales company is expanding its offer. She launches into ready-to-wear with 4 collections a year.
On the occasion of the brand’s 25th anniversary, BORDEAUX Business looks back on its business model. By taking charge of direct delivery design, Charlott’ makes sure to limit intermediaries. Instead, it relies on a network of independent partners. Véronique Garnodier has also always favoured the path of collaborative management. It then relies on transversality and competence and not just hierarchical subordination. Happiness at work is thus one of Charlott’s goals vis-à-vis its sales advisors. The brand is also renowned for rewarding its best VDI with trips and relaxing stays in the tropics.
Home sales with Charlott’, not modern?
In addition to home sales, Charlott’ does not deprive itself of the more current communication and sales strategies. Thus, it offers partnerships with influencers for example. This is particularly the case with her co-creation with the Instagrammer Eve Pamba. An innovative ability that will have allowed the brand to continue to operate during containment. And for good reason, in the Covid-19 period, many home vendors opted for the video-conference format. The opportunity not to lose the link with their customers, as well as to experiment with new business approaches.
Home sales, a booming market
The third largest distribution channel in France, the direct selling market represents a turnover of 4.451 billion euros in 2017. To do this, it employs about 700,000 distributors.
In 2017, in France, the profession also grew by 19,543 jobs. Driven by new entrants, the digital revolution and the customer experience, the direct selling market has an encouraging growth outlook for 2020. Multi-channel and digitalized, home sales are expected to continue to grow by about 3% per year until 2022 (4). The Covid will no doubt have shaken up these forecasts, but it seems that the sector is able to recover quickly.
Home sales are an alternative mode of distribution, a vehicle for employment and independence. In 2015, The Aquitaine Employment Centre signed, for example, a partnership with the Federation of Direct Sales to encourage the recruitment of independent sellers. However, not all business segments lend themselves to home sales and the offer remains poorly differentiated. However, It is in New Aquitaine’s best interest to take advantage of the rise of this market.
The direct selling market, a thriving market in New Aquitaine
With its large employment base, direct sales mean jobs that are not relocated to the Bordeaux region. By being both a source of additional income and a full-time job creator, this method of distribution appeals to both young workers and seniors. Due to its demographic attractiveness, New Aquitaine thus tops the territorial marketing targeted by players in this sector such as Charlott’. Key business sectors of the home sales market include gastronomy and building. Two very promising sectors in New Aquitaine.
As evidenced by Charlott’s success story in Lyon, the home sales market has been able to renew itself, even in a context of dematerialization of products and the advent of the e-shop. This longevity of the Charlott’ brand testifies to the need for customers to receive personalized advice, sometimes lacking benchmarks in the face of an ever-increasing offer. However, this market could be more in-depth in Aquitaine territory, particularly in terms of employment opportunities. Already practiced by local farmers and winemakers in New Aquitaine, this distribution channel is not an enemy of the e-commerce channel or digital, an undeniable asset of Bordeaux’s entrepreneurial culture.
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