A misunderstood visionary
August 1946. Henri-Charles Geffroy launches the life clear log. His credo: a healthy and vegetarian diet. A speech completely against the grain of the aspirations of the time! After years of rationing, the French want to eat to their hunger and intensive agriculture to quickly fill the baskets. But Henri-Charles Geffroy takes his stick of Pilgrim and tirelessly delivers its message at conferences. Two years later, the life Claire was born in Paris. It fine-tunes its bio products sign concept in the 1970s. But on the death of the founder, succession problems put the sign to knee.
In 1981, Bernard Tapie, adroit rectifier of companies bankrupt, bought the cooperative for a symbolic franc. "At the time, the sign is known only in a restricted environment." "Tapie intends give boost to his notoriety in amount, in 1984, a cycling team", says Benoît Soury, Director General of the life Claire. A winning bet. Bernard Hinault, won the great loop in 1985 under the colors of the sign. "The company moves all partnership contracts and significantly enhances its network with 50 points of sale." But the rally was short-lived: the OM - Valenciennes case, then the Credit Lyonnais scandal precipitate Bernard Tapie and the life Claire in the turmoil. The sign, converted into securities guaranteed by the deposed businessman, falls into the Bank anyway. "To recover, the Credit Lyonnais must get rid of all its rotten assets", says Benoît Soury. Assets which part the life Claire. After a passage through the realization consortium box (CDR) created by the State to manage the liabilities of the Bank, the network is bought by the Distribjorg group. It lost half of its points of sale in the adventure.Benoît Soury, Director General of the life Claire.
In the 2000s, the life Claire, become franchise network, found its independence and relaunching the activities of its units. First axis: increase the number of references. It develops the food but also cosmetics and hygiene products. So propose some 1,450 products today. Second axis: restart the network. Last year, the clear life opened no fewer than 80 points of sale and today has a fleet of 210 stores, 40 own. Third axis: varying formats. Historically located in the downtown on small surfaces, teaches tackles now peripheral urban areas on surfaces of 200 to 250 m. "We went from selling assisted pure self-service", States Benoît Soury. His militant commitment and expectations of consumers, it develops the ecology and sustainable development-oriented infrastructure. "We invested in logistics by creating a platform to serve all stores". "This is the first high quality environmental European platform by the surface," said Executive Director.
Ensign feels now at the close in the hexagon. Already very present in the DOM - TOM, the life Claire had first considered foothold in Spain. But the crisis has deterred it in the Iberian Peninsula. She therefore turned to the Dark Continent. Already implanted in Pointe Noire, the Congo, it is now the Maghreb. In the Morocco, a first point of sale opened its doors in Casablanca. A second was to follow, pending the Tunisia.
Obviously, the sign has made the right choices: turnover grew by 15 in 2010, reaching the 100 million euros. But the distribution is particularly offensive in this sector. Signs represent 45 of the market and develop more organic products under their brand distributor for lower prices. Today, Benoît Soury wants calm: "we remain competitive and we offer a broad assortment." And especially we bring to the Council on nutrition, essential oils. Today the competition is played on the price, if the Council tomorrow will make the difference.