In March 2020, the fragrance brand Margot & Tita is just two years old. Founded in Bordeaux by Julie Schoell, former export director in the fashion and cosmetics sectors, the young brand, which has its 35 scents manufactured by perfumers from Grasse with at least 90% natural ingredients, is taking full advantage of the boom in “clean beauty”.
Margot & Tita already has a large distribution network made up of 1,780 points of sale in France and in five countries in Europe: Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary and Romania. In France, the Marionnaud chain, Galeries Lafayette and a few concept stores are marketing it with convincing results: 90,000 bottles were sold in 2019, in the first year.
Around ten pharmacies by the end of 2020
The spring 2020 containment and the two-month closure of perfume shops have not broken this momentum … Despite the health crisis due to Covid-19, sales continue to increase: 140,000 units should be reached in 2020.
Julie Schoell has nevertheless decided to react to the crisis, by changing its distribution strategy. While continuing to increase distribution in beauty product chains, this 2018 winner of Réseau Entreprendre decided to test the sale in pharmacies. A reassuring place and, above all, one that remains open during a pandemic! Since this summer, the range has been offered by two pharmacies, one in Bordeaux city center and the other in the Les Portes du Médoc shopping area in Saint Médard-en-Jalles (33).
“We are targeting the largest pharmacies, those which develop parapharmacy and emphasize well-being and natural products”, specifies Julie Schoell. Accessible to a wide audience, the recommended retail price, from 12.95 euros per 30 ml bottle, matches the margins practiced in pharmacies where the gross rate in parapharmacy is 32% on average (KPMG 2019 study) . After three months, this trial run seems conclusive. “Having regular replenishments now pushes us to extend the experience on a larger scale”, assures the entrepreneur who aims at around ten pharmacies listed by the end of 2020.
Test in Bordeaux-Mérignac duty free
In the longer term, Julie Schoell also wants to develop her range in airport shops. More surprisingly, she therefore drove tests in the Aelia Duty Free store (Lagardère Group) from Bordeaux-Mérignac airport. Even if the Covid-19 pandemic has sharply reduced the frequentation of the airport site, the brand would have recorded encouraging first sales scores. “It’s a jewel bottle with which you can travel and the very Frenchy side can seduce passing tourists”, argues Julie Schoell.
For Margot & Tita, TPE of three more people, there is no question of opening own stores. On the other hand, the pandemic finally encourages him to boost his online store. For the moment, this direct sales channel weighs less than 5% of turnover. But thanks to the upcoming recruitment of a digital marketing specialist, the objective is to rapidly increase the share of “on line”.