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Bio c’Bon: a 10-year climb

Created in 2008, the French retailer specialized in organic products counts 123 stores today and some 1,400 employees: 300 at the Paris headquarters (15th district) and the three warehouses in Orly, Thiais (Val-de-Marne) and Wissous (Essonne), and the rest in the retail stores. In just a few years, Bio c’Bon has become the number 3 organic retailer in France, behind Naturalia (173 stores) and Biocoop (500).

Interviewed by the newspaper Le Parisien, Thierry Chouraqui, president of the company, explained this tremendous success and his prospects for the future.

“We are present in all regions except for the west of France. We wanted nice clear stores, with affordable prices and featuring fresh products at the forefront. We first settled in and around Paris, where the market share was the highest, then in the Paca region, and so on.” The milestone of 250 employees, synonymous with a transition to the status of mid-cap company, was reached around 2012. “In this reorganizing market, we had to grow quickly and find the talents to move forward,” explains Thierry Chouraqui. “If we did not become representative enough, we would miss our chance.” The brand is now present in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Japan.

The company took the gamble to grow quickly, without acquisition and without opening its capital. The first and only capital opening operation took place last December, when Aeon, the Japanese retail giant, formalized its stake of 19.9% in the capital of Bio c’Bon. “It is an industrial partnership, not a financial one,” explains Thierry Chouraqui.

With a revenue of 8 to 9 billion euros [9.2 to 10.4 billion USD] on the organic retail market which totals at 150 billion euros [173 billion USD], Bio c’Bon continues to invest. The company just acquired a giant warehouse of 135,000 square feet in Athis-Mons (Essone). It will open in the spring to replace the three existing logistics stations.

Source: Le Parisien

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