Interview with Julien Charre, Sales & Marketing Manager at Le Chatelard 1802.
Good morning Julien! Could you talk to us about Le Chatelard 1802, and about your role in the company?
I am the sales and marketing manager of Le Chatelard 1802, a family-run business created by the Montaud family. It’s a family of farmers and producers of lavender and Lavandin (an hybrid flower born from the intersection of real lavender and the spica type, more resistant and able to grow at low altitude) since 1802.
Sébastien, Christophe and Benoît Montaud are three brothers, as well as founders of the company. They started selling lavender bags to help distribute the family production, and, at the beginning of 2000, they decided to create Le Chatelard 1802.
Nowadays, we sell more than 800 types of products, from soap to essential oils, passing through aromatic candles, exfoliants, shampoos, shower gels, etc. Lavender is the basic component from which all our products are processed.
Chatelard was founded back in 1802. How important the company storytelling has been to build a brand identity?
We juxtaposed the image of the brand to our geographically privileged situation: matter of facts, the company is in the region of “Baronnies“. It’s a valley with a micro climate and a rocky, calcareous, and mineral rich soil, which has all the necessary conditions for cultivating high quality lavender. We produce lavender in the traditional way, even if there are some procedures that we have mechanized. Our geographic position and our production process represent the DNA of the brand.
How does the company create customer loyalty?
We retain customers thanks to the quality of our product, and through our customer service. As the company continues to grow, we are trying very hard to keep the family spirit, building a close relationship with all our employees, customers and suppliers.
What are the distributions channels used by the brand, and in how many countries is the company present?
Currently, our main distribution channel is physical stores. We have a total of fifteen shops, mainly spread in the south-east of France, in Alsace and Collioure. We have also opened some stores in Asia, mainly in Taiwan, and we work with several distributors in Eastern Europe.
In addition, we sell our products in affiliated shops and multi-brand distributors throughout France, and we are working on new distribution channels such as, for example, pharmacies, hotels, airport duty-free shops, etc.
How do you imagine the evolution of these physical stores in the future?
Today, our goal is to continue opening stores in all the major cities of France. We will focus on the image of the “Provençal spirit”, thanks to which we will let customers discover new products, bringing a little of Provence to their homes.
What do you think about all the technologies and digital tools for the retail sector?
Currently, Le Chatelard 1802 is oriented towards a total omnichannel strategy. The most important thing is the level of satisfaction of our customers and their shopping journey. The ultimate goal is to make our stores completely digital, interactive and dynamic. For example, through the interaction with video, thanks to which customers can subscribe to the newsletter and have products available at any time, and have a fulfilling shopping experience whether online or offline.
From your point of view, which are the main advantages obtained by the company thanks the use of TC Group‘ Retail Intelligence solutions?
TC Group Solutions‘ tools allow us to quantify the external traffic, the number of entrances, exits and the effectiveness of our merchandising campaigns in the point of sale. The goal is to always know what happens in our stores, to improve our decisions based on the data obtained. For us, these tools are very useful, as they allow us to measure every commercial action and get closer to the consumer’s expectations.