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How to sustain growth in a department store chain

Completed by: Hommes & Performance


Monoprix is a French generic urban distribution group offering “daily life products” (both food and non-food) with 300 stores located mainly in city centres. In the mid-2000’s, Monoprix faced threats linked with the general evolution of distribution (business moving from city centres to malls located in the city outskirts) as well as internal difficulties, including a high turn-over of staff and an out-dated image.

The strategy chosen to reverse this situation was to focus on the needs of the urban population by helping make the lives of those living in urban areas easier and to transform the traditional image of the brand into something more modern, young, urban and lively. The group launched a range of initiatives and projects which dealt with: products, prices, opening times, deliveries and communication campaigns.

The success of these initiatives relied on an efficient roll-out in the stores, sustained by efficient management. Hommes & Performance was asked by the Chief Sales Officer to work on the effectiveness of the management chain of sales from headquarter to stores.


Hommes & Performance contributed to the analysis of the sales organisation and management. The key improvement points were: firstly, the need to strengthen the transmission between the head office and stores; secondly, the need to provide more support to store managers, including help with product management, human resources, analysis of profitability and design of remodelling projects.
The previous structure (each of the 10 regional sales managers were in charge of 30 stores) was too weak to support the planned changes. To achieve the objectives, the relevant ratio was agreed to be one regional manager for every 10 stores.

Hommes & Performance then worked on a step-by-step implementation of this new structure. To ensure everyone’s support, the approach alternated training sessions at the company‘s headquarters and collaborative sessions with regional sales managers and store managers.

The first step was to work with store managers and regional managers to assess mutual expectations. This enabled clarification of objectives and responsibilities of each level of management (headquarter, regional sales managers, store managers).  The next step was to build a portfolio of projects, with all the changes necessary to reach the target. For example: changes to be made in the management process (eg. frequency and content of management meeting). What skills were necessary to endorse the (new) responsibilities consistently? How would the training plan work? How could stores receive support on technical points?
Actions ranged from qualification and organisation of technical support for stores, 10-day training programs for regional sales managers, management and support for cashing desks, and, establishing a process for store remodelling projects.


Aligning a market entry strategy requires profound insights into the target market. A reliable local partner provides valuable benefits as it contributes comprehensive understanding of the local market, a good network to industry experts, agen-
cies and media as well as knowledge of legal, political and cultural conditions.

Monoprix and Hommes et Performance were jointly nominated in 2009 for the award „Les Espoirs du management“, for the initiative regarding management and professionalisation of the cashing staff. “Les Espoirs du management” is an annual prize awarded to management initiatives delivering value to an organisation and its employees.

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