Exclusive interview, Sebastien Masson, Product Manager at TRAX Distribution, shed light on the current state of the retail channel in France and provided valuable insights into the company's growth strategy and sourcing process. With over 12 years of experience in the industry, Masson shared his expertise on the challenges faced by distributors and highlighted emerging opportunities in the market.
Sebastien Masson shares insights on retail channel trends and the company's expansion plans
TRAX Distribution: A Leading Player in the Industry
TRAX Distribution, founded in 2010 by original CEO, Olivier Granger, and Fabian Boyer, Commercial Director, operates as part of the online and offline group called OFF Financiere et Participations. With a consolidated turnover of 100 million euros and a workforce of approximately 80 employees, the company has established itself as a key player in the distribution sector.
Diverse Portfolio and Market Presence
Masson revealed that TRAX Distribution works with around 40 to 50 brands, boasting an impressive portfolio of 4,000 active SKUs. The company focuses on various product categories, including storage and memories, hardware, accessories, human mobility, and their newest addition, climate engineering.
Challenges in the Retail Channel
When asked about the current climate for the retail channel in France, Masson acknowledged the economic challenges faced by the industry due to decreased foot traffic in stores. However, he expressed optimism, citing the upcoming back-to-school season as a potential turning point for business growth. Masson emphasized the importance of online presence and highlighted the company's strong online sales, which have been steadily increasing year after year.
Thriving in the Online Marketplace
TRAX Distribution's success in the online marketplace can be attributed to their partnerships with prominent platforms such as Amazon, Cdiscount, and specialized marketplaces like Decathlon and Leroy Merlin for the DIY channel. The company has dedicated teams managing online sales, including product listing, customer support, and logistics, ensuring efficient operations and timely deliveries.
Strategic Decision-Making and Brand Partnerships
Discussing the decision-making process for adding new brands to their portfolio, Masson stressed the significance of product quality, market demand, and compatibility with TRAX Distribution's existing offerings. The company prefers exclusive partnerships with brands entering the French market, as it allows for a focused approach and minimizes competition. However, Masson also mentioned that TRAX Distribution considers non-exclusive agreements for brands targeting different channels, such as B2B.
Sourcing Process and Personal Interactions
In terms of sourcing new products, Masson highlighted the importance of physically assessing the products and meeting with brand representatives. While online search and platforms like LinkedIn play a role in their sourcing process, the company values personal interactions and direct contact. This hands-on approach allows them to gauge product potential and establish strong relationships with suppliers.
Focus on Growth Categories and Openness to New Opportunities
Masson also shared TRAX Distribution's focus on the fast-growing categories of climate engineering and the DIY channel. However, he emphasized that the company remains open to exploring new categories as long as there is market demand and a strategic fit within their portfolio.
Setting Minimum Turnover Expectations
When questioned about the minimum turnover expected from new brands, Masson explained that while it varies depending on the brand's potential and market position, TRAX Distribution aims for partnerships that can generate a minimum of 100,000 euros in the first year. This ensures a mutually beneficial collaboration and sustainable growth for both parties.
As the interview concluded, Masson reaffirmed TRAX Distribution's commitment to providing expertise in the French market and its dedication to maintaining strong relationships with customers and suppliers. The company's focus on online sales, strategic brand partnerships, and expansion into new product categories positions them for continued success in the dynamic retail landscape.
for more information about TRAX check www.trax-distribution.fr