The Creator of Botanical Beauty opened its first North American franchise in the West Edmonton Mall today.
The 648 square foot store called The Atelier of Botanical Beauty, is located on floor one of the mall near the 44 door entrance. “We are incredibly excited for both the Brand and our franchisee because this represents a real milestone for Yves Rocher globally and a real opportunity for Oksana Pachine and her partner Anna Stsibaylo,” says René Desmarais, CEO of Yves Rocher North America Inc. The Yves Rocher Group is a global beauty leader, ranked in the top 15 beauty brands in sales and volume, with 3.2 billion dollars in sales and one of the few large, family-owned, beauty-businesses in the world. “We were saddened to lose the founder, Mr. Yves Rocher, right before the start of the new year but pleased that the Brand is continuing on the path of global expansion laid-out by Mr. Rocher,” he adds. The opening coincides with the Brand’s 50th anniversary which is being celebrated this year.
Yves Rocher has been operating in North America since the mid-eighties running a direct mail business in Canada and the United States and a store business in Canada. Later, in 2005, it launched an Internet sales site as well. While both the direct mail and Internet business service both Canada and the United States, the store business remained regional, operating close to 70 stores in Eastern Canada with locations in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Last year, with the global launch of the new Atelier store concept, the company announced that it would be offering franchises across Canada to help with its on-going expansion. The company’s goal is to introduce franchising in the U.S. in the next few years.
The Canadian store business was somewhat of an anomaly as globally close to 75% of the 1,800 store chain is franchised. “We wanted to keep our stores corporate until we had the right formula for the North American market,” says René Desmarais. “With The Atelier of Botanical Beauty we know we have the right concept.” Launched in May of last year, the Atelier is delivering an average +15% sales increase versus the previous store concept.
The Atelier is a physical representation of the Brand. The main display table is a copy of the one
Mr. Yves Rocher used in his attic laboratory in La Gacilly, France when he first started the company. A large visual of one of Yves Rocher’s organic fields is front and centre at the cash. The company organically cultivates about 33% of the raw plant material it needs for its global production. The rest is ethically sourced around the world, depending on the actives needed in a product. Finally emblematic visuals of women and plants recall the Brand’s proximity to women and the fact that all its products are botanically-based.
“I am so happy to be the first franchisee in Canada,” says Oksana Pachine. “I’ve known Yves Rocher for many years because it is a very popular brand in Russia. What I like is its plant-based products and its focus on the environment and sustainable development. As franchisees we also receive very targeted marketing and communications support,” she adds. Yves Rocher is known world-wide as a highly specialized direct marketing company, which contributes to its success in all of its sales channels. “When you purchase an Yves Rocher franchise you always benefit from tremendous corporate support such as marketing and communications tools, training and data sharing, says Stéphane Duval, Director, Stores, Yves Rocher North America Inc. “Customers who sign up to our rewards program receive between 12 to15 special offers a year with additional discounts, free products, gifts and of course our expert beauty advice. On average between 18%-30% of customers come back with their offer,” says Duval. “That’s on top of walk-in customers,” he adds. In Canada, more than 90% of Yves Rocher store customers have signed up to the rewards program.
Yves Rocher plans to franchise more than ten locations before the end of the year and has interested parties for franchises from Halifax to Vancouver.