Step by step, Marionnaud is continuing the renovation of its brand and the unification and harmonization of its network that it had started in 2005 following its acquisition by the AS Watson Group, the world’s leading distributor of beauty products and toiletries. With 572 outlets in France, Marionnaud can rely on the largest network in the country, but this network of outlets is heterogeneous, reflecting a growth that was achieved through successive acquisitions of regional chains and independent stores. In France, the sales areas range from 20 to 900 sqm, the outlets can be located in city centres or in shopping malls in all types of cities and catchment areas. The brand is also present in Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Romania, the Czech Republic and Portugal.
After having reorganized its logistics and reshaped its IT system to finally manage to unify it at the group level, Marionnaud has renovated most of its beauty salons (240 out of 254 in 2010) and reviewed its signage in April, before tackling in 2011 the very concept of outlets, with a new version being tested on more than 70 outlets. As the first results posted by these outlets - 5 to 10% increase in sales - met and sometimes exceeded the group’s expectations, the pace of renovations should be increase compared to what had originally been planned. "Legitimizing our approach, shareholders have given us the means to accelerate the program enabling us to have half of our stores completely revamped as of 2012," was delighted to say William Koeberlé, CEO of the Marionnaud Group.
Under the sign of pleasure
The pleasure of discovering and a clear consumer perception of the offer have been placed at the core of the project, so to make shopping even easier through clear signage, family products (women’s perfumes, men’s perfumes, skincare) identified with their own colour codes, readily available products, and beauty consultants always available. "Without reinventing everything, we worked on a concept store which could be used on all our formats, all our sales areas, and for all customer types", explained Fabrice Obenans, Marketing Director of the brand.
Fragrances are arranged on either side of the outlet, with a taupe colour on the left for men, and a mauve colour on the right for women. Areas dedicated to sales opportunities, new products and seasonal events were created and the opportunities for impulse buying of small complementary products have been increased.
The area dedicated to care was designed as a space conductive to a privileged relationship with the beauty consultant. Located in a quiet area, at the back of the outlet, it is the perfect place to start discovering and learning around the "beauty bar".
The make-up offer, the pleasure category par excellence, for its part has been granted a central place in the outlet, with standardized dedicated furniture and inclined displays designed to increase the visibility and accessibility of products. Make-up through its accessibility, is also, coupled to the brand’s private labels, one of the main component of the strategy devised to reconquer customers.
Conquer new customers
To regain market share, Marionnaud is also relying on the strengthening its image of proximity and accessibility. Hence the development of the make-up offer, perceived as a good way of recruiting young customers, with in particular the Danish brand Gosh, for which the group is the exclusive distributor in France.
In general, the most accessible offers, especially the group’s private labels, are more particularly put forward in order to capture new, younger customers. Thus, an "impulse table" located at the store entrance, showcases the set boxes, the price opportunities and current commercial news. "Customers that way, can enjoy from the start products in connection with the brand’s latest commercial updates, thus demonstrating its beauty expertise and its price affordability", the company said.
All or part of a wall panel is dedicated to Marionnaud’s skincare offering. As for Marionnaud accessories, they are displayed in transparent Plexiglas compartments located in different areas depending on the configuration of the outlet: in wall units (near the check-out, or near the make-up to make the connection between the two worlds), in displays at each end of the aisles and at the check-outs.
in spite of this emphasis on the Marionnaud offer, William Koeberlé insists that in no case this offer cannibalizes the offer from selective brands, but on the contrary provides a complementary service. "Our core business is selective distribution. But there is a large part of needs which is not appropriately covered by the offer in selective circuits, especially in the bath and shower segment."
Consistent with this approach, the brand will soon present a range of skincare products for men under its own name, with nine references including shaving, deodorants and anti-aging products.