Famous Brands has signed a ground-breaking agreement with global brand, PAUL, to become their South African Licensed Partner for a ten-year period. PAUL is a family-owned French chain of bakery-cafés established in 1889 in Croix, Northern France. Internationally, PAUL has partnered with operators across Europe, Africa, Asia, America and the Middle East, and is now represented in 41 countries.
Famous Brands' Group Chief Executive, Kevin Hedderwick, says, "This partnership is the culmination of a two-year courtship between Famous Brands and PAUL. For some time, it has been the Group's stated intent to enhance the contribution of our premium-end portfolio, and therefore we are particularly delighted to add a brand of the stature of PAUL to our existing elite brand bouquet."
He adds, "PAUL is unique in that the business is rooted in French baking tradition which dates back 120 years and five generations. While the product offering is classically French, innovation and continuous development of new breads, viennoiseries, patisseries, seasonal sandwiches and other meals, is constantly woven into the fabric of the brand's offering and experience. At the heart of PAUL's values is a passion for craftsmanship, quality and tradition."
Hedderwick elaborates, "PAUL's authentic offering, served in its trademark chic restaurants, will have enormous appeal for discerning local consumers who are increasingly aligned with international trends and choose to associate with brands with style and status that are popular in Europe and the USA. Today, eating out is about the experience, and brands that differentiate on an experiential platform continue to perform strongly. There is also a growing demand for premiumisation and customisation of the offering, and PAUL caters to those aspirations."
He says, "Today, PAUL serves over five million customers a month in its 400-plus bakeries across France, and the patron loyalty factor is extraordinary; we look forward to generating similar enthusiasm for the brand in this country."
In terms of the agreement with PAUL, Famous Brands will open five restaurants over a five-year period in three trading formats. The first flagship PAUL restaurant is scheduled to open by the end of calendar year 2016.
Hedderwick says the rationale for the partnership with PAUL is compelling:
- "Research confirms the continued growth in this country of the higher LSM and middle income market, with consumers constantly looking to indulge in premium brands that offer quality. Currently in the South African context, there isn't another bakery-café operating in the space that PAUL occupies and hence we have an opportunity to be first movers in this category, with the most recognisable French bakery-café brand in the world," he says.
- "As a family business, PAUL has had the freedom to invest significantly in refining their process, marketing and product over decades. Buying into an international brand of this calibre will afford us access to all the global learnings and best operating practice that has been developed," notes Hedderwick.
- "Importantly," comments Hedderwick, "We will have direct access to PAUL's marketing and operations expertise and also a world-class new product development and training facility in Lille, where the art of baking is constantly being evolved."
Maxime Holder, President, PAUL International, says, "South Africa is one of the most sophisticated, diverse and promising emerging markets globally. In addition, Famous Brands, specifically, appealed to us as a partner because the Group is Africa's leading branded foodservice franchisor with an enviable track record and extensive experience of the industry and market. Their management team understands multiple trading formats, which is central to PAUL's model. Furthermore, PAUL will benefit from Famous Brands' comprehensive business model which comprises extensive expertise and capability in development, operations, procurement, marketing, logistics and manufacturing."
"In the longer term, Famous Brands can provide PAUL with access to African countries outside of South Africa where we are not currently represented," Holder notes.
"Significantly," Holder remarks, "PAUL, like Famous Brands, is a family business and our entrepreneurial cultures are aligned."
Hedderwick concludes, "We are tremendously excited about this partnership. The commercial case combined with the obvious chemistry between the two parties makes this a truly satisfying marriage. At the same time, I am delighted that the addition of PAUL to our premium bouquet of brands raises our game even higher in the face of global competition."
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