It is the discreet nugget of a very secret group. Created in 1975 by Marie-France and Bernard Cohen, Bonpoint entered the fold of the family holding EPI almost thirty years later. The latter, who owns, among others, the Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck champagnes and the JMWeston shoes, has been managed for thirteen years by Christopher Descours, 45, the grandson of Jean-Louis, founder of EPI and former manager of André. In 2017, this graduate of Sciences Po and Dauphine appointed Bonpoint Marie-Sabine Leclercq, 52, familiar with luxury in all its forms, with a journey that led her from Louis Vuitton to Lanvin, and Longchamp in Coty.
Fashion with children’s eyes
On the program, the development of the cosmetic line (skincare and perfume, water originally created by Annick Goutal, Marie-France Cohen’s sister, in 1986) to also appeal to adults, particularly in Asia. “We want to build a full-fledged beauty brand to conquer the” eternal children “of the world”, explains the president, who is strengthening the distribution network (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and independent stores in Shanghai and Beijing). But also the widening of the target in the fashion, with the launching, these days, of a first-line for women, which succeeds Yam which aimed at the teenagers.
The third area of expansion
Because the success of the French brand has logically aroused more competition (Fendi, Gucci, Balmain…), especially since the high-end niche is the only one to triumph over the doldrums in children’s fashion, where several brands, like Orchestra, recently experienced difficulties or even disappeared. The world market is estimated at 175 billion euros, according to the research firm Euro-monitor, with a “luxury” segment which represents nearly 10% of sales. “We are already present all over the world with 25% of the turnover achieved in Asia, and 10% in the United States,” underlines Marie-Sabine Leclercq, who travels to the Far East every two months. In the coming months, Bonpoint will also settle in Canada, Israel and Vietnam. “
The third area of expansion: digital. Almost 16% of the sector’s sales are made online, and the proportion continues to grow. A new site is planned for next spring to support a “double-digit” increase in the company’s sales on the Internet. Without forgetting the notoriety: in September, Marie-Sabine Leclercq will launch the first advertising campaign for the written press of the “fashion house for children”