This is a special brand with which the group Fnac Darty has entered into exclusive negotiations for an acquisition by the summer. Nature et Découvertes, which was founded in 1989, is a bit surprising in the world of distribution, starting with the very personality of its founders: Françoise, an artist, and François Lemarchand, trained in the best business schools.
A few months ago, the couple published a book entitled In explorers (1) in which he traced their adventure of entrepreneurs. A book conceived as a travel journal around the world, illustrated by many photographs of Françoise Lemarchand.
The disappearance of Bernard Darty, co-founder of the appliance brand
It is indeed in the four corners of the world that this couple, at the same time ecologist, traveler and a little hippie, while being provided with a solid sense of the businesses and a big intuition on the evolutions of the society, is gone looking for the basics of his entrepreneurial adventure.
The Pier Import adventure
First there was the Pier Import chain of shops in the mid-1970s, in which countless French households went to discover exotic furniture and trinkets. The brand will be resold in the late 1980s. The brand Nature and Discoveries was created in 1989, with the desire to bring urban residents closer to nature and sustainable well-being. Finally, the youngest, Résonnance, specialized in the art of living, was born in 2000.
" At first, many smiled as dreamy dreamers with their wooden toys or bird shelters, says Rodolphe Bonnasse, CEO of CA Com, a consultancy agency specializing in trade. But they have held and reap today the fruits of a deserved commercial success. The brand, whose capital is still 80% owned by the Lemarchand family, has nearly a hundred stores in Europe and generates annual sales of around 200 million euros a year.
According to this distribution specialist, Nature et Découvertes has taken a unique place in the consumption landscape. " The Lemarchand were among the first to understand that there was more value selling a universe than products, he says. They were also among the first to create a real sensory environment in their shops, both musical and olfactory. "
A family dimension
The Lemarchand have also created the foundation Nature and Discoveries for the balance between men and the Earth, to which the sign says pour 10% of its profits for actions of protection of the biodiversity or education to the nature .
Rodolphe Bonnasse also insists on the family dimension of their personnel management. Values passed on to their son Antoine, who took control of the brand in 2011. The latter recently co-signed a platform in La Croix in which he explains that " the time has come to propose an alternative business model, for profit and societal, complete, logical, reliable and therefore reassuring. "
Once the acquisition is finalized, Fnac Darty plans to install dedicated Nature and Discoveries spaces in its Fnac stores in France and expand the group's product catalog. Antoine Lemarchand will remain "With us to continue to drive the activity of Nature and Discoveries", assures a statement from Fnac Darty.