||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (January 2015)|
Founded in 1886 in Paris, Fauchon is an international gourmet food company, which sells a wide range of own-brand products including delicatessen, cakes and pastry, breads, confectionery. It also has a catering, reception and restaurant business. Fauchon is considered as a major reference in contemporary French gourmet foods.
- 1 History
- 2 Fauchon in Figures
- 3 Competition
- 4 References in popular culture
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The origins from 1886 until 1952
The founder of the Fauchon brand, Auguste Fauchon, was born in Calvados in 1856. He moved to Paris in 1880, where he began to work as a street vendor, moving on to become a wine and spirits merchant. In 1886, at the age of 30, he opened a fine foods outlet on Place de la Madeleine in central Paris's 8th arrondissement. This first shop still exists, and was totally renovated over a century of expansion and transformation.
The quality of the products made by Fauchon and its numerous approved suppliers quickly made it well-known internationally, and it came to symbolize French-style luxury. In 1968, French radicals chose to raid Fauchon and distribute foie gras to the poor. During the Second World War, restrictions and rationing made business difficult for the company. Auguste Fauchon died in 1945 and his children sold the company in 1952
From 1952 to 1986: opening up to new markets
In 1952, Joseph Pilosoff, the former owner of Chocolat Poulain, “Ciseaux d’argent” in Saint-Cloud and “Aux 100000 chemises” in Paris, took over Fauchon and built up a partnership with Air France. He also expanded the name abroad, opening new Fauchon outlets including in Japan at Takashimaya department stores in 1972. When Joseph Pilosoff died in 1981, his daughter took over at the head of the company. However, she too died soon thereafter, in December 1985, in a fire on the company premises. This happened on a day of national strike in public transportation in France, so the fire department took a while to arrive. Meanwhile, it was established that the fire was arson: the gasoline of a moped was set on fire in the back of the building. A criminal investigation followed. According to several eyewitnesses, a suspect was seen in the back of the building and in the crowds when the fire department arrived. The police and the criminal investigation team watched all the videos but no suspect was arraigned to this day.
From 1986 to 1998: exploring new opportunities
In 1986, Joseph Pilosoff’s granddaughter, Martine, then 33, and her husband, Philippe Prémat, became the owners of Fauchon. Martine Prémat's management proved difficult. Turnover had been flat since the beginning of the decade at around 250 million French francs (some €38 million), with losses of FF5 million in 1991, FF4.7 million in 1993 and FF11.9 million in 1996, and debt standing at FF73 million (€11 million) and a negative net equity of FF4.9 million. The company strategy to sell its products in mass-market superstore chains such as Carrefour and Auchan, was sharply criticized, and the management was reproached with running the risk of spoiling the company's image, making it commonplace. Martine and Philippe Prémat were also criticized for making management errors, and building a yacht, “Le Fauchon”, on which they intended to promote French gastronomy6, and then making a FF12 million loss (€1.8 million).
Despite attempts to expand the group in the 1990s by opening shops in Geneva and Saudi Arabia – only to close them a few years later – or by sponsoring the Paris Dakar rally, Martine Prémat finally sold the company to Laurent Adamowicz for FF240 million (€36.6 million) in March 1998. The sale price included the freehold of the buildings on Place de la Madeleine, sold the following year to the real estate group OGIC, headed by Jean Diaz.
From 1998 to 2003: wide expansion of activities
Former investment banker, graduate of business school and also experienced in the field of luxury products, Laurent Adamowicz positioned the brand on the gourmet foods market. He launched new products and ad campaigns, renovated points of sale, withdrew the brand from mass-market outlets and renovated the historical stores on Place de la Madeleine. He started a new partnership with Air France and returned the company to profitability in 2000 and 2001. After the pastry chef Pierre Hermé and his pupil, Sébastien Godard, both left the company, Laurent Adamowicz trusted a very young pastry chef promoted from within, in 2000, to lead the pastry department at Fauchon: Christophe Adam.
He created a marketing department whose team organized the full repositioning of the brand, its image, its graphic identity, its logos, and the entire range of packaging. He launched the creation of 700 new products under the Fauchon brand, introduced on the market from 1998 to 2003. He completed the repositioning of the Fauchon brand in its food universe of good products made simply and exceptionally. Finally he launched the Fauchon commercial website for packaged goods and catering. The brand renewal was particularly noticed with the reopening of the historic Tea Salon in Paris, followed by its replicas in Tokyo and New York.
As soon as the year 2000, Fauchon became a growing and profitable company again, with 90 million Euros ($135 million) in sales and 5 million ($7.5 million) in EBIT for 2002, and with a strong desire to conquer new markets. Fauchon opened new stores in Japan, in South Korea, Taiwan, the Middle East, Europe, and finally in the United States where it never had a store before, investing FF60 million (€9.2 million) in five years. In France, the acquisition of Flo Prestige for €39 million increased the number of outlets in Paris by 12 stores. In 2003, the Fauchon network included 650 franchises, 16 of its own shops, of which three were in New York and 13 in Paris with the takeover of the Flo Group's delicatessens
Prior to his purchase of Fauchon, Laurent Adamowicz had already announced his intent and that of his investor group to launch the company in the U.S. market in a very significant way. A press conference they held in early February 1998 made it official that their strategy was to invest 60 million French Francs ($14 million) over 5 years to conquer the United States market they called “the largest opportunity for the development” of Fauchon. See Les Echos newspaper article on February 5, 1998 and the article in Le Monde, likewise: “The buyer of Fauchon, the company Waldo, wants to develop the brand in the United States” With a diversified investor group that included Michel Deroy and Jean-Francois Toulouse, former owners and managers of Dock de France supermarkets that they sold in 1996 for 18.5 billion French Francs ($4.2 billion); the investment fund Matignon Investissements et Gestion; the publicly listed UK fund Intermediate Capital Group; and Barclays Capital Development France, the company had the means of its ambitions to finance the desired expansion of Fauchon in the U.S. market. See article in Les Echos newspaper on April 2, 1998: “The new Chairman and CEO of Fauchon wants to bring the company to the United States” and in La Tribune newspaper on the same day: “The gourmet epicerie Fauchon wants to conquer the American market” Barclays Private Equity France, a subsidiary of the Barclays plc Group, backed Laurent Adamowicz in his takeover of Fauchon to participate in its development in France and abroad.
The 2003 Crisis
Came the crisis of Spring-Summer 2003: First there was the Iraq War with the invasion and the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in April 2003; followed in May 2003 with a worldwide scare due to the epidemic of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus; then came the unprecedented heat wave in Europe that hit France particularly hard with over 15,000 dead in August 2003; finally, the economic turbulences due to the collapse of the tourism market that year. Fauchon was very dramatically affected by the combination of all these events, especially at the time it had just converted to the Fauchon brand all the new Parisian stores it had just acquired.
From 2004 to the present day
In January 2004, Laurent Adamowicz sold his interest in the company and left his CEO's office to Michel Ducros, (one of the sons of Gilbert Ducros (1928–2007), the founder of the Ducros spice business that he sold in 1992 to the Italian group Ferruzzi)
The acquisition of the Flo outlets in Paris in 2002 and the opening of three shops in New York led to a very sharp rise in income between 1998 and 2004, but a decline in Fauchon's net profits.
From 2004 onward, the new shareholders adopted a strategy that aimed to boost profits by selling off those assets they deemed to be non-strategic, closing stores in Russia and the United States; selling their ready-prepared meal tray business to the Fleury Michon group; and finally selling the Fauchon Paris stores to the company's rival Lenôtre
Within the space of 6 years, Fauchon cut back its workforce by 700 employees, from 900 to 200 people
Michel Ducros revised Fauchon strategy with all its suppliers in all product categories, as the Paris-based purveyor of gourmet foods no longer wants to be a general store, but a multi-specialist. Fauchon has developed a product strategy, which entails setting up specific partnerships with its suppliers and sub-contractors and developing and making Fauchon products to strict specifications and Fauchon recipes. Fauchon continues to produce most of its own breads, cakes, pastries and delicatessen products on its premises (in the Paris suburb of Courbevoie for cakes and pastries). In 2009, after its pastry chef, Christophe Adam, left Fauchon, Michel Ducros appointed to succeed him his assistant Patrick Pailler, seconded by Pierre-Jules Ginet. To help in the development of the new Fauchon projects, Michel Ducros created a new company, Fauchon Trading S.A.
Despite the lack of success in the United States and China in 2009,  Fauchon still aimed at international development on several big markets (Japan, Middle East, Asia and South America). In 2013, Eric Vincent (CEO of Fauchon from 2013 to 2014) announced: “Fauchon is now aiming to have 100 outlets by 2017 (from 63 in 2013), most of which will be franchises, its chosen modus operandi." Fauchon reinforced its presence through Asia with a second boutique in Hong Kong, and expanded in Thaïland with the implantation of several stores : the first one opened in Bangkok in February 2014 and a second boutique opened in August 2014 in Siam Paragon.
Fauchon had some 60 stores and restaurants around the world in 2013, and international sales represented 80% of the group's business
Fauchon in Figures
From 1998 to 2003, the number of franchised Fauchon stores went from 450 to 650, the number of company-owned stores from 1 to 16 of which 3 in New York and 13 in Paris after the purchase by Fauchon of the Parisian stores of Groupe Flo The number of licenses grew from 2 to 16 from 1998 to 2003, generating royalties that grew from 1.5 to 3 million Euros ($4.5 million) during the same period. In 2003, Fauchon had total sales of 90 million ($135 million) of which 30% export revenues for a profit of 5 million Euros ($7.5 million). (See the Article “Fauchon en Chiffres” – Fauchon in Figures – i.e. business newspaper La Tribune)
On the verge of bankruptcy in 2004 (with losses of €30 million), an ad hoc legal agent is appointed by the Court of Paris (2003/10/06 order) to help the company's recovery. Fauchon made its way back to a smaller loss in 2009, and in 2013 posted an operating profit of €900,000 on sales of €50 million. Fauchon employs 230 people (2013), operates 60 retail outlets and posts sales of €247 million (including sales by franchises), up by 45% over the year 2012, 80% of which on international markets.
|Net profitor loss||0.1||1.3||-1.4||-4.5||-33.5||-15.9||-5.8||-0.8||-5.4||-1.0||-1.0||-1.0||-0.5|
|CEO||Laurent Adamowicz||Laurent Adamowicz||Laurent Adamowicz||Laurent Adamowicz||Michel Ducros||Michel Ducros||Michel Ducros||Michel Ducros||Michel Ducros||Michel Ducros||Michel Ducros||Michel Ducros||Michel Ducros|
From 2005 onward, Michel Ducros bought out most of the other shareholders, private and institutional, in large part due to the wealth bought about by the sale of the family business sold for 240 millions Euros ($360 million) in 1992, In 2005, Michel Ducros acquired all of the shares held by the Barclays Group, in 2009 the 36% stake owned by La Compagnie du Bois sauvage, then the stake held by Matignon Investissement & Gestion, and lastly the minority shareholdings. “I am an entrepreneur, I invest in the long term,” he explained.
Main competitors of Fauchon on the worldwide gourmet and luxury food products scene include Harrods and Fortnum & Mason in London and Mariage Frères, Le Palais des Thés, Dammann Frères, Kusmi Tea, Lenôtre, Pavillon Ledoyen, and Hédiard in Paris. Many more competitors emerged in the last decade on the international scene. For instance, as of 2015, Maison Kayser had 20 outlets in Paris, 25 in Japan and approximately 140 internationally. Ladurée also boasted about 100 outlets in 2015: 25 in Paris and the rest in 20 countries. As for Lenôtre, the world-renowned company founded by Gaston Lenôtre, as of 2015, it had 37 stores in 8 countries.
Also, former Fauchon pastry chefs Pierre Hermé, Dominique Ansel, and Christophe Adam each opened their own company competing with Fauchon in the pastry department. Pierre Hermé alone had 37 stores in 7 countries as of 2015.
References in popular culture
In Thomas Harris's book Hannibal (1999), the infamous fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter, while on a flight from Europe to America, waits until everyone is asleep before producing a Fauchon food parcel of aromatic truffled pate de foie gras and Anatolian figs, as well as a half bottle of St Estephe which Harris says he favours.
In Cast Away, the 2000 movie directed by Robert Zemeckis, Chuck Noland, the FedEx executive (starring Tom Hanks) hands his colleagues before they board the plane, a Fauchon bag containing fresh baguette bread from Paris. The distinctive Fauchon logo of the bag stands out. Later in the movie, one wishes he had kept the bag.
- Le Nouvel Économiste "Fauchon, Hédiard : une histoire de goût”, 22 September 2011 
- Le Journal du dimanche, 8 February 1998, “Fauchon veut retrouver son lustre d’antan” by Jean-Michel Salvator
- The Daily Deal, 21 May 2002, by Matt Miller “Pass the foie gras”
- Les Échos, 28 August 2006: Fauchon célèbre 120 ans de gourmandise. http://www.lesechos.fr/28/08/2006/LesEchos/19738-46-ECH_fauchon-celebre-120-ans-de-gourmandise.htm
- Le Figaro, no. 16643, 16 February 1998, interview with Martine Prémat
- “Martine PRÉMAT a démocratisé le luxe”, page visited on 8 October 2009 Source: “Martine PRÉMAT a démocratisé le luxe”, page visited on 8 October 2009 http://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=http://www.annuaire-au-feminin.net/bioPREMATmartine.html&title=Page%20vue%20le%208%20octobre%202009
- Capital, May 1997, pages 54-55, by Eddy Murano, “Succès et Dérapages - Fauchon, un épicier fauché
- Gault Millau, no. 327, February–March 1998, pages 31-34, “Enquête : La vérité sur Fauchon”
- Le Figaro, 31 December 2005, “Fauchon, la Griffe gourmande”
- Europe 1 radio, Le Journal de l’Économie, 4 February 1998, 6:30 am, by Jean-Michel Salvator
- OGIC, promotion immobilière, page visited 11 October 2009
- Les Echos newspaper, Issue #19002 of October 3, 2003, page 50, Distribution, Entreprise et Marchés, En Vue, Laurent Adamowicz
- Financial Times, 22–23 January 2000, by Holly Finn “Tea with Sympathy”
- Wharton Alumni Magazine, Spring 2003, Issue 347
- The Financial Times, Article of January 22–23, 2000, by Holly Finn “Tea with Sympathy” “For those weary of coffee and couture and in real need of something soothing, the Salon de Thé recently opened at the legendary Fauchon food emporium in Paris, is worth a winter visit. There, on Place de la Madeleine, the emphasis is not on fast-forwarding, either one’s heart rate or one’s fashion status. It’s about stopping – taking a deep breath and a long sip. No matter how rudely random Parisians have treated you that morning, you’ll soon feel better about the whole Franco-thing. A slice of Tarte au thé Darjeeling (a specialty of the house) restores confidence not just in your ability to translate, but in the civility of left-seat drivers, all sorts of things…. A reminder of the bond between tea and sympathy.”
- Management magazine, Article of December 2003, “Fauchon retrouve le goût des benefices; Laurent Adamowicz a réussi son pari. En cinq ans, cet ex-golden boy (Paribas et Rothschild), qui n’hésite pas à aller jouer les vendeurs dans ses magasins, a su transformer Fauchon. La vénérable épicerie de luxe qu’il a rachetée en 1998 – elle était alors fortement déficitaire – est enfin devenue une affaire rentable : 90 millions d’Euros de chiffre d’affaires pour un résultat d’exploitation de 5 millions en 2002. Et son dernier coup d’éclat a payé. Les douze magasins du traiteur Flo Prestige, repris il y a un an pour 40 millions d’Euros au groupe de restauration en difficulté, lui ont permis de rajeunir sa clientèle tout en conservant son public d’origine" “Fauchon finds the taste of profit” “Laurent Adamowicz has succeeded. In 5 years, this ex-golden boy (Paribas and Rothschild) who does not hesitate to play salesman in his stores, was able to transform Fauchon. The venerable epicerie of luxury products he purchased in 1998 – that was nearly bankrupt – finally became a profitable company with 90 million Euros ($135 million) in sales and 5 million ($7.5 million) in EBIT for 2002. His last venture paid off too. The 12 Flo Prestige stores he bought from the restaurant group for 40 million Euros ($60 million) allowed to drive younger clients to the Fauchon brand while keeping the old-time regulars."
- Les Échos, no. 17579, 5 February 1998, page 18, “Waldo veut développer Fauchon aux États-Unis” http://www.lesechos.fr/05/02/1998/LesEchos/17579-87-ECH_waldo-veut-developper-fauchon-aux-etats-unis-et-au-japon.htm
- New York Times, Article by Florence Fabricant, 16 August 2000, “Fauchon Opens A Market in Midtown” http://www.nytimes.com/2000/08/16/dining/fauchon-opens-a-market-in-midtown.html : “FAUCHON, the legendary Parisian market, has made its debut in New York. Its first American shop opened Monday at 442 Park Avenue, at 56th Street. For now, the glass display cases, shelves and free-standing consoles in the 3,600-square-foot (330 m2) store are stocked with pink and gold packages of fancy jams, chocolates, crackers, mustards, oils, vinegars, pickles, sauces and 109 kinds of tea,” writes Florence Fabricant She continues: “The candy counter is laden with chocolates, marrons glaces in four flavors, pates de fruit and marzipan creations. The jewel-like glace strawberries ($2 each) are not to be missed. Chocolate Eiffel Towers are $5 each. The pastry department is limited to delicious macaroons for the moment, and there are packaged cookies, and gradually other pastries, ice creams and sorbets will be added. It has taken Fauchon, which has 800 stores in 33 countries, this long to open in the United States because the company's emphasis was placed on establishing franchises in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. When Laurent Adamowicz bought the 114-year-old company in 1998, he set his sights on the American market. The $3 million New York store is company owned.”
- Les Échos, no. 17619, 2 April 1998, page 19, “Le nouveau PDG de Fauchon veut implanter l'entreprise aux États-Unis” http://www.lesechos.fr/02/04/1998/LesEchos/17619-69-ECH_le-nouveau-pdg-de-fauchon-veut-implanter-l-entreprise-aux-etats-unis.htm
- La Tribune du 2 April 1998, page 11, “L’épicerie fine Fauchon veut conquérir le marché américain”
- Le Figaro, 20 March 2003, “Laurent Adamowicz redéploie Fauchon
- Le Parisien, 1 October 2003, “Fauchon s’installe chez Flo et mise sur la proximité”
- Les Echos newspaper, issue #17579, of February 5, 1998, page 18, “Waldo veut développer Fauchon aux Etats-Unis” (Waldo wants to develop Fauchon in the United States)
- Le Monde newspaper article, issue #16493, February 5, 1998, “La vente de Fauchon relance les grandes manœuvres sur le marché de l’épicerie de luxe. Le repreneur, la société Waldo, veut développer la marque aux États-Unis” (“The buyer of Fauchon, the company Waldo, wants to develop the brand in the United States”)
- Les Echos newspaper, issue #17619, of April 2, 1998, page 19, “Le nouveau PDG de Fauchon veut implanter l'entreprise aux Etats-Unis” (“The new Chairman and CEO of Fauchon wants to bring the company to the United States”)
- La Tribune newspaper, April 2, 1998, article page 11, “L’épicerie fine Fauchon veut conquérir le marché américain” (“The gourmet epicerie Fauchon wants to conquer the American market”)
- As can be read in the annual report of Barclays Private Equity France: “Laurent Adamowicz took the Fauchon destiny in his own hands and started the restructuring right away. His first actions included closing all the restaurants in the Place de la Madeleine, Paris store and replacing them with a “Salon de thé” (Fauchon Tea Salon) and the largest wine cellars in Paris. He also increased international brand presence with the opening of similar Fauchon Tea Salons in Asia and in New York on Park Avenue, followed by a second store on Madison Avenue. Source: Web site Barclays Private Equity France, Page seen on October 8, 2009
- Le Point magazine, Issue #1665, Article published on January 17, 2007 “En 1992, le groupe Ducros et Fils est numéro un des épices en Europe, et la famille ne résiste pas à l'offre de rachat mirifique (1,6 milliard de francs - soit pratiquement le chiffre d'affaires) que lui fait l'italien Ferruzzi avant sa retentissante faillite.
- L’Express magazine, Article of August 9, 2007, page 44-46, “Quand Ducros se jette à l’eau” (When Ducros takes a dive), Page Seen on October 9, 2009
- Le Point, no. 1665, 17 January 2007, “Les nouvelles recettes de Michel Ducros”
- "France-Luxe-Fauchon veut doubler de taille en cinq ans". Reuters. 18 September 2013.
- New York Times, 20 May 2005, by Elaine Sciolino, “Fauchon’s Food Empire Cedes Territory to a Rival”
- Source: New York Times
- New York Times, 11 June 2004 , “New York: Manhattan: Fauchon Closing 2 Of 3 Stores”, page visited on 11 October 2009
- Les Échos, no. 19268, 19 October 2004, “Fleury-Michon acquiert les plateaux-repas de Fauchon” , page visited on 11 October 2009
- Le Figaro, 19 May 2005, “L’épicerie de luxe vend neuf boutiques à Lenôtre. Fauchon a perdu la bataille de Paris” , page visited on 8 October 2009 and official Lenôtre website
- L’Express, 9 August 2007, page 44-46, “Quand Ducros se jette à l’eau » , page visited on 9 October 2009
- L’Express, 17 January 2008, page 75 “Fauchon, L’épicier chic et choc”, by Corinne Scemama
- L'Est-Éclair, 23 March 2010 page visited on 12 April 2010
- Mémorial, Journal Officiel du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg, C — N° 1620 of August 21, 2009, Page seen on October 11, 2009, and C — N° 2537 of November 8, 2007, Page seen on October 8, 2009
- Le Figaro newspaper, Article of October 14, 2007, “Fauchon veut ouvrir treize magasins en Chine”
- Les Echos newspaper, issue #20541 of October 29, 2009, page 19, “la Chine est sûrement le futur Japon, mais ce n'est pas pour tout de suite” (“China may be the future Japan, but not for right now”)
- Les Echos, 2013/09/13, "Fauchon pousse les feux à l'international"
- Le Figaro newspaper, issue of March 15, 2014, page seen on January 15, 2015, “Divergences a la tete de Fauchon” (Conflicts at the head of Fauchon)
- Christophe Palierse (19 September 2013). "Fauchon pousse les feux à l'international". Les Echos.
- Le Figaro newspaper, Article of March 20, 2003, “Laurent Adamowicz redéploie Fauchon”
- Le Parisien newspaper, Article of October 1, 2003, ‘Fauchon s’installe chez Flo et mise sur la proximité”
- La Tribune newspaper, Article of October 1, 2003, “Fauchon devient une enseigne de proximité ; Fauchon en chiffres”
- ordonnance du 06 octobre 2003 
- "Fauchon veut doubler de taille en cinq ans" , Capital, 18 September 2013
- Source : Rapports annuels de 2000 à 2008 inclus, de La Compagnie du Bois sauvage ; page vue le 10 octobre 2009.
- Source : Rapport annuel 2005 de La Compagnie du Bois Sauvage, pp. 31–34 ; vue le 10 octobre 2009.
- Website www.mediargus.be Holding Bois Sauvage involved in insider trading: Fortis executives alleged to have tipped Brussels holding company Page seen on October 17, 2009
- Source: www.flanderstoday.eu
- Le Point, no. 1933, 8 October 2009, “Michel Ducros est propriétaire de plus de 90 % de son affaire”
- Le Point, no. 1933, 8 October 2009, “Fauchon version fashion”
- Le Point magazine, Issue #1933, Article of October 8, 2009, “Michel Ducros est propriétaire de plus de 90 % de son affaire”
- Le Point magazine, Issue #1933, Article of October 8, 2009, “Fauchon version fashion”
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fauchon.|
These are the main links to the companies specifically cited in the article above:
- Aux 100.000 Chemises
- Air France
- OGIC, Promotion Immobilière
- Le Figaro
- Les Echos
- La Tribune
- Le Point
- The New York Times
- The Financial Times
- Takashimaya Department Stores
- Groupe Carrefour
- Van Cleef & Arpels
- Intermediate Capital Group PLC
- Barclays Private Equity France
- Groupe Barclays
- Pierre Hermé
- Compagnie du Bois Sauvage
- Neuhaus Créateur Chocolatier
- Pierre Marcolini Chocolatier
- Fortis Bank
- Matignon Investissement & Gestion
- Gonset Holding S.A.
- McCormick & Company
- Groupe Accor
- Dammann Frères
- Mariage Frères