French cultural product chain Fnac has announced a new five-year strategic plan to help lift flagging sales as consumer habits change and competition from the internet erodes traditional markets.
Called Fnac 2015, the plan includes the opening of 30 new stores in France, mainly on the outskirts of towns, and in countries where it is already present. At the moment, the group operates 152 outlets, of which 82 are in France and 70 are abroad in Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
The group will also create a network of about 50 small local shops of around 300 square metres in medium-sized towns in France, which it will run itself initially and then put out to franchise. It will extend its product range, overhaul its merchandising concept to display products by theme, and open a ‘univers enfant’ in each store for children of up to 12 years old. In addition, it will bring internet operations into stores, and will upgrade customer services, such as helplines and installation of equipment.
A spokesperson declined to disclose either the investment involved in the plan or figures on store openings abroad. Fnac’s sales rose 1.3% last year to nearly €4.5bn, but fell 3% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year to €958.8m. Second quarter figures will be announced on 29th July.
Parent company PPR wants to sell the chain, but the rumour mill is silent for the moment on potential buyers.
Last month, four unions sent a joint open letter to Fnac c.e.o. Alexandre Bompard demanding better working conditions after the suicide of a store director, Laurent Charasse, soon after he had been transferred from Aix-en-Provence to Clermont-Ferrand. Two other Fnac employees committed suicide at the end of last year.