Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Business case: How To Save Vivarte

Vivarte has been a retail group that has struggled the past few years. The French company has experienced a lot of CEO changes as they have never really been able to find a clear path for long term growth. Vivarte has recently appointed former Monoprix CEO Stéphane Maquaire as a CEO in the last move to save the company. 

And the company is really struggling. Sales have decreased by 600 millions € in 2 years (-20%). Moreover, they had to shut down 40% of its La Halle banner, their largest store brand. And as you can see on the chart bellow (in French), most of its leading brands are going in limbo seriously.

The clothing store market is really struggling, with the new competition of new discount channels and the growth of the Internet. The task of Stéphane Maquaire will be difficult. He indeed needs to give a clear vision of each brands position in the market and stuck to it. Even though the clothing store business implies to change quite often store concept to stay in fashion, the positionning of each brands have struggled by switching from discount to mass market quite to often. 

I like the strategy that is proposed by French magazine LSA:
Focus on The Internet
Vivarte has not yet unleashed the full potential of omnichannel marketing, whereas it owns a very large store network that could empower each of the brands of a great click & collect network.
I believe that there is a lot of room for improvement for that matter.

Work on the different brands
Maybe the group has too many brands, and it needs to work on some different ones to find the best interest in them. 

Try to find out synergies between the different business units

What is interesting in the choice of Stéphane Maquaire for this mission, is that he made an incredible job at working on the brand Monoprix, which is difficult to do in a FMCG context. It will be interesting to follow his strategy and how he executes it.