Gefiroga operates a dozen brands in total (Midica, nine Intersport and two Blackstore) and today has 370 employees.
If the Covid crisis has precipitated the drop in the curtain of some stores, others have shown resilience and come out stronger. This is the case of the Toulouse group Gefiroga, which operates the emblematic Midica brand. A 5,000 m2 store located on Place Esquirol since 1946. “We are a regional, family-owned and independent group,” recalls the general manager of the group Olivier Garrigou, grandson of Marcel Garrigou, founder of Midicaoutch (first name of the Midica brand) It is mainly thanks to our independence, which we have never given up in 75 years, that we have been able to withstand the crisis while preserving jobs “. But keeping its workforce intact at a cost that financial autonomy cannot meet on its own. “The State was present at our side. We received a loan guaranteed by the State (PGE) of 4.5 million euros that we have fully used”, details the leader. According to the latter, the group has already reimbursed a third.
Bringing together a dozen brands in total (9 Intersport, 2 Blackstore and Midica), Gefiroga now has 370 employees. That is fourteen more than before the crisis. An increase made possible thanks to the opening last August of an Intersport store in Mazamet in the Tarn. A real bet in the midst of Covid. “Our ambitions are improved, they are even reinforced by what we have learned during the last two years”, claims the manager of the group.
Three new stores
Confident, the group will double from 2023 the sales area of its Intersport store in Cahors to reach 2,400 m2.
Within two years, a fifth Intersport will be launched in the Toulouse metropolitan area. As for its urban fashion brand, two new Blackstores will open their doors by summer 2022, including one in Carcassonne. While the first Covid waves had a massive impact on activity, the group has managed to return to close to normal activity since August 2021. “After sales of € 60 million in 2019, which fell by 15% in 2020, we are targeting € 68 million this year “, figures Olivier Garrigou. An activity projection that makes Gefiroga hope to have a workforce of 400 employees by the end of the year.
Another consequence of the Covid, the risks of shortages. To avoid empty shelves, the group wants to focus on tricolor products. By buying the Manufacture française du cycle in 2013, the last national factory (Loire-Atlantique) to manufacture bicycles, the group had flair. Unlike competitors who are experiencing tensions on the small queen, “with 600,000 bicycles produced per year, we have not had a supply problem for the moment”, congratulated the manager.
e-commerce: “we won 3 years”
Initiated before the arrival of the Covid, the digitalization of the group’s commercial offer has seen real acceleration. “We have gained three years on our digitalization objectives”, analyzes Richard Hernandez, co-manager of the group. In 2021, Gefiroga forecasts digital revenue of € 3 million. That is 10 times more than in 2019.