The 2012/12/11 at 14:06
Asha Meralli (article) and Pélagie Harbour (video)
Pierre Rizzo joined the Casino Group in 1978. After starting his career in hypermarkets, then in the Operations unit of the Quick store brand, he worked for about ten years in the catering industry. Casino Proximité called on his services when setting up its franchising activity, and he is its General Manager today.
Commerce International: What are the Casino Proximité (literally, “local store”) brands?
Pierre Rizzo: Our stock is made up of 2,000 Petit Casino stores, which tend to be integrated stores owned by the Casino Group. These are managed by non-salaried representative managers who are remunerated by commissions on the turnovers they achieve. We also have around one thousand SPAR stores, mainly franchised, and 2,000 VIVAL stores, all franchised. The rest are partnerships, mainly in the petrol domain, as we work with practically all the French petrol distributors.
How is this network of brands organised ?
P.R. : Small surface areas of 50 to 200 m2 in rural environments are generally VIVAL stores. Larger surface areas, in rural, semi-urban or urban environments are SPAR stores, or SPAR supermarkets for surface areas between 800 and 900 m2. These are nevertheless always local supermarkets whose clients come from a radius of 10 minutes by foot.
How do you recruit your franchisees?
P.R. : Today, around 85 % of our recruitments are done by Internet, either directly on our web site Casino Proximité (http://www.casino-proximite.fr), or via web sites dedicated to franchise recruitment such as those of the Observatoire de la Franchise (Franchise Observatory), or the Fédération Française de la Franchise (French Federation of Franchising). We also offer bonuses to franchisees with whom we already work and who introduce potential salespersons to us. The candidate meets a recruiter who evaluates his or her motivation and skills profile, and if the interview is favourable, we study the wishes of the future franchisee: the desired location, the surface area, etc. Once an economic match has been confirmed between the person’s contribution potential and the feasibility of the operation, together we choose a store in the Casino Proximité stock or else we look for one. The economic dossier is put together with the franchisee, bringing together all the business elements: market study, definition of the turnover, margins, etc. A bank loan is generally necessary, and we always accompany our partners in this procedure. What happens next fits in with normal procedures: the purchase of the store, the bank loan, and the store opening…
So support is strong throughout …
P.R. : Indeed, and it continues all through the partnership. Casino Proximité employs almost 800 persons whose mission is to support non-salaried representative managers and franchisees, in other words around one business coach for every ten stores. Distribution is a world that moves constantly, so our sales teams present new products to retailers, help them to organise them on their shelves, to implement sales operations, to carry out merchandising… This is what guarantees franchisees with a certain security, which they are looking for because it gives them enormous comfort. We also organise training programmes that range from one to four weeks (core training) and further training depending on the franchisees’ degree of knowledge, enabling them to tackle their new profession in full serenity.
What are your assets compared with your competitors?
P.R. : The fact that we are leaders is a fine guarantee for our franchisees. The size of our network also means that they have more chances of finding a right fit with us. Our distributor brand is also a sure advantage. It has existed for over one hundred years and comprises a very comprehensive assortment of quality products on a par with national brands, sometimes ranked even higher than some of the latter!
More information on : www.casino-proximite.fr