Gütermann is a German manufacturer of high-quality thread for the luxury goods industry. France is one of its strategic markets, not so much for its business volumes but because it is home to the head offices and design studios of major luxury brands, which are trendsetters in the industry. Luxury goods subcontractors – Gütermann’s direct customers – are increasingly based in foreign countries. Faced with the slow but steady erosion of its French sales over ten years, the company asked Emmanuelle Guillerot to re-engage with the market, and particularly with key accounts such as Louis Vuitton, Lacoste and Hermes.
Analysed the portfolio of 250 customers; defined targets for rationalising the customer base; identified screened contacts at key accounts; planned visits by region (by a travelling sales representative); boosted relationships with wholesalers; put together a strategy for working with key account customers based on service excellence and technical expertise; launched an online store; set up a sales office for Western France (negotiated contracts, trained sales staff, managed inventory, held open days, etc.); set catalogue prices; negotiated special prices with buying groups.
Stabilised sales volumes with Lacoste; won first request for proposals with Vuitton for small leather goods; won pole position with Hermes accessories; grew wholesaler sales by 15% in one year.