A successful French e-commerce business has taken the unusual step of opening its own bricks and mortar store.
While many fishing retailers are looking to internet sales as a viable replacement for stores, Faustin Falcon – owner of the 20-year-old business pecheur.com – has opened an outlet in Aubiere, near Clermont Ferrand and about 50km from its warehouse in Gannat, Allier.
Explaining the move, Faustin told Angling International: “Our internet business is growing each year because pecheur.com offers a large choice and better prices.
“But we wanted to show our brand in ‘real life’ in a beautiful shop that will show off our brand partners and provide an original and different experience for customers. We wanted to use our logistic skills to provide a good choice of products for fishermen.
“It has given us more notoriety and increased our relationship with our partners. We have no private labels instore. We designed it as a shop within a shop where brands can take advantage of presenting their products in the best possible way. We wanted a big store – 1000m2 – where brands could do that and one which makes fishermen proud to be fishermen. It is a place where anglers come with their family.”
Faustin is not ruling out more shops but says the company’s digital presence will always be the priority. “It’s possible we could add more in the future. If this store is successful, we could duplicate. Trade has exceeded our expectations so far.”
Pecheur.com was founded in 2000 and at first it was a community website, becoming an e-commerce proposition in 2004. “The founders had a web agency and pecheur.com was a tool for testing the project. When they understood that a market opportunity existed, they decided to raise funds to develop the business.
“Pecheur.com has great visibility because of its large choice of product and marketing investment. It has also become well established. The team here are cool, passionate and want to become the greatest dealer for fishing products in France – and then Europe.”
Turnover at the business is currently around 35m EU with approximately 40,000 visitors a day. “Predator and carp fishing are the main markets and we sell a lot of the main brands, including Daiwa and Shimano,” added Falcon “France is a segmented market with lots of small shops and it’s important that brands are more evenly distributed to compete with Caperlan, the Decathlon fishing brand.”