The Jardins de Gaïa invest in the B to C sector – Le Journal des Entreprises

To compensate for the decline in its activity, Les Jardins de Gaïa, a pioneer in organic tea since its creation in 1994, are looking for solutions. The company, which employs 85 people, saw its turnover fall from 12 million euros before the Covid period to 10 million in 2022. A decline that follows the trend of the organic market, affected by the drop in purchasing power. . To find new commercial outlets, the company, which has its own production unit, is reorienting its strategy. Today, 80% of sales of tea, herbal teas, rooibos and spices from Les Jardins de Gaïa are made via a network of distributors: organic supermarkets and independent stores and to hotels and restaurants. B to C sales represent only 10% of turnover via online sales, the Alsatian boutique in Wittisheim and the company’s presence at trade fairs.

Opening of a store in Rennes

But the company wants to develop this sales channel. She comes to invest €500,000 in the works and the purchase of the business of one of its historical resellers in Rennes. The store opened in December 2022 and was inaugurated on March 30. The objective is to achieve between 200,000 and 300,000 euros in turnover during this first year of opening. If the objective is reached, other points of sale could emerge. “We will see by early 2024 whether we open other stores. We also need to mature our expertise in B to C. For us, it’s a learning process, that’s what also motivates us,” explains Cassandre. Maury, general manager of the Jardins de Gaïa. Regarding the typology of the network, franchise or own stores, nothing has been decided for the moment.

Give more visibility to the brand

According to the Alsatian SME, the opening of this first store was well received both by the public and by its professional retailers who did not perceive it as competition. “They agree with us that this will give more visibility to the brand and establish our status as an expert in quality organic teas and infusions”, continues the general manager. The Breton shop, which covers 25 m², has been designed to offer visitors an “emotion and sensation” experience and to communicate about the sectors, producers and company values: biodiversity, responsibility, transparency, etc. “Today, consumers increasingly want to know where the products they buy come from and how they are made,” says Cassandre Maury. Customers can choose from 300 references of teas and herbal teas and can also find or discover a selection of spices and herbs from the Terra Madre brand, the other Jardins de Gaïa brand.

While the health crisis has put a brake on export sales, the Bas-Rhin company also wants to regain market share abroad, particularly in Northern Europe. Today, exports represent 5% of turnover, mainly in Europe (Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Scandinavia, Spain).

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