Launched by two friends determined to modernize the use of the Savon de Marseille, La Compagnie de Provence soon achieved the expected public success. Brand of the Ganassini group since 2013, the company now boasts a range of 180 references, has 1,000 stores in France and exports products to around 40 countries. “I joined La Compagnie de Provence six years ago with a mission: it was to reposition the brand, ensuring it was in line with market trends and consumer expectations,” explains Guillaume Cornu Thénard.
A cosmetic breakthrough
Strengthened by the dermocosmetic expertise of the Ganassini group, La Compagnie de Provence has managed to expand its offer with a wide range of face and body care products.
“We have created collections with shea butter for its nourishing virtues and with velvety seaweed for its moisturizing benefits. More recently, our holistic pharmacy collection combined vegetable and essential oils, and we also have an anti-aging line with antioxidant fig. We always make a clear and very simple promise, so that consumers immediately understand what they are buying. This is part of the codes of our brand: on our bottles we wrote Savon Liquide Marseille in capital letters,says Guillaume Cornu Thénard.
Today, liquid soap still represents 46% of turnover. It is the point of entry and discovery of the brand, but in a few years face and body care have reached a share of 10% and 30% respectively. The references of household products (candles, dispensers, cleaning products) complete the picture.
The formulas are composed of at least 95% of ingredients of natural origin. The flagship ingredients derive mainly from the short distribution channels in Provence and the primary packaging is in glass or rPET. All inks are of vegetable origin.
“We made a significant investment and hired a manager for our CSR policy. All the objectives defined by the UN have been achieved and this year we will focus mainly on the quality of life at work, bearing in mind that the company employs around 40 people. So our second focus will be on packaging to make sure we use as little plastic as possible. Our last priority will be our carbon footprint. All of this demonstrates how committed we need to be and we will publish our results at the end of the year,”Explains Guillaume Cornu Thénard.
Expanding in France and globally
As it expects to reach a turnover of 7.3 million euros this year, with an annual growth rate of 10%, the brand continues to develop in France: by the end of the year it will boast about 1,000 points of sale, mainly in the world perfumery – from Sephora and Marionnaud’s -, which will represent 300 of them by the end of 2022. Pharmacies make up the second network and concept stores the third.
“We have also defined two other priorities: digital technologies, with our e-shop, which represents over 10% of our turnover, and 100% shops, because they are crucial in terms of consumer experience. All this helps to understand the specificity of our brand, between modernity and tradition,”Adds the General Manager.
The brand has seven wholly owned stores located mainly in the south of France. No further openings are planned this year, but the Marseille store is expected to be redesigned to house an organic café, an ingredients wall and, most importantly, a refill fountain. This concept has already been implemented at Galeries Lafayette and in the Aix-en-Provence headquarters shop.
Exports represent 65% of the company’s turnover, with a presence in around 40 countries, particularly in department stores (Europe, North America, Argentina, Asia and Oceania).
“The brand quickly managed to establish itself abroad, because people all over the world have a passion for traditional and contemporary Provence. This is what makes La Compagnie de Provence unique: there is a lot of talk about lavender and olive trees, but also Le Corbusier’s La Cité Radieuse, the LUMA tower, the Mucem, the Museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations, impressionism … . in recent years, the new cultural and architectural dynamics in Provence have perfectly resumed the initial positioning of our brand,”Concludes Guillaume Cornu Thénard.