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How will a new CEO from outside the industry put struggling Pacific Pêche on a new path?

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The new CEO of Pacific Pêche has wasted no time in announcing her plan to turn around the fortunes of the struggling tackle retailer. Agathe Boidin says product choice and availability will be central to success, both online and instore.

The new owner of France’s largest retail chain, which has been saved from closure, has outlined plans for the future, which include the opening of new stores, an emphasis on stocking products from the world’s top brands and omni-channel growth.

The Pacific Pêche group had been struggling under the ownership of ASD International after embarking on a plan to develop its own brand in a bid to reduce its reliance on major suppliers. The group, which has 40 stores throughout France, was placed in administration in April this year after warning a month before that it was facing huge financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month the activities and assets of ASD International was acquired by AFL Pêche in partnership with French development company, SO FRA DAM, and logistics expert, the LOGS Group, with Agathe Boidin appointed CEO of the business.

Boidin, an entrepreneur and French business leader told fishing website Peche.com that the company planned to strengthen its partnership with major brands by having the biggest ones available in its stores, while also strengthening its own label offer. She said: “My vision for Pacific Pêche is first of all to expand the offer which has been very much reduced in recent years.

“I want to find a balance between the major brands and our own brands. Pacific Pêche must return to a catalogue offering of 30,000 products. In addition, everything must be available, whether instore or on the web. This is the objective and it starts with an offer to which the customer must have maximum accessibility. We are going to set up a system that will unify the stocks so that the consumer can see all of the company’s products, not just central inventory or that of a store. When ordering from their home they can also choose to have their order delivered or picked up from their nearest store.

“To achieve this omni-channel presence the group has invested 1.5m euros in the IT structure and a targeted CRM strategy. The aim for us is to be ready for the start of the new fishing season next year, both in terms of supply and rapid availability of products. Each store will also have products on its shelves that cater for fishing in its own geographical location.”

Boidin told the website that 38 of the company’s profitable stores will remain open and that there were plans to increase the network of outlets across the country, including the opening of one in its headquarters city of Montpellier in March next year. “It is inconceivable to me that currently the nearest store from our home is a two-hour drive away,” she said.

“There is a need for Pacific Pêche to increase turnover which has been declining for several years due to both internal and external causes, in particular with regard to certain strategic choices.”

Boidin said that Pacific Pêche exists thanks to its team who are passionate about their profession and above all fishing.

“We will put everything in place, including access to training needs, and the sharing of results to achieve our goals together. It is essential for me to unite all of our people around a vision, a project to return Pacific Pêche to its position as leader in the recreational fishing market in France.”

Customer service will be at the heart of Pacific Pêche added Boidin. “We will be aiming to provide a real experience for anglers visiting our stores. We have learnt during the closure of the shops in France during COVID-19 the importance of human contact. Fishing is a passionate pastime and our business and sales area will reflect that.”

Agathe Boidin factfile

Graduated with a Masters degree in international finance from the ESCLA Paris Business School. Expert in retail management and
logistics at the Orchestra-Premaman group, where she served as General Manager from 2012 to 2015. In 2016, she set up the Orchestra-Premaman subsidiary in the United States before creating with her husband the consultancy, Business Beyond Border, in 2018. Back in Montpellier, she became COO at LOGS, an international group of logistics services.