New brand / Fabrice Gerber explains the “Toujust” project

A senior executive in “classic” distribution for a long time (particularly at Leclerc), Fabrice Gerber is launching a new food brand in Alès on 1er March: Toujust. He returns to the trigger of the approach and the original model put in place.

The click of the Toujust approach?

Very clear in my memory. It was in my previous life, a business meeting. One of the participants is ecstatic: “we stole 5 million from the suppliers”. It was a revealer. I no longer felt in my place. This model was no longer mine. So I was going to imagine my own model, particularly in the relationship with suppliers.

Just in a few words?

In terms of organization, it is a cooperative project with the suppliers since they are shareholders. And, for the customer, it’s a return to basics with central need units and “white” brands. What matters is the content, not the container. This allows, objectively, a better quality/price ratio.

Like MDDs?

In spirit, yes. But, in fact, we weren’t going to create a Toujust brand and bear the costs that go with it (both for creation and for small production runs) when all our suppliers have brands in their portfolio that they can dedicate to this project.

Big brands in the assortment?

Better known brands, yes, for about 20% of the offer. But which will not be purchased from “big” suppliers (who did not wish to join the process) but on the parallel market.

Concretely, how are the suppliers associated with the capital?

They hold 99.9% of a structure which itself owns 25% of the brand. The interest of this intermediate structure is to protect them from the management of the brand. To date, there are a hundred.

The size of the suppliers?

The smallest must “weigh” a few hundred thousand euros in turnover. The biggest 100 M€.

How is the entry or exit of capital suppliers managed?

We will conduct regular capital increases to integrate new suppliers as the network develops. And those who would like to exit can, we will buy back their shares to offer them to other suppliers.

Ales, 1er March, the date of the first store is secure?

Yes. There is a delay compared to the first objectives, the time to create the structure and, above all, to imagine the right legal model because, for once, Toutjust is creating something completely new! But, yes, we are well “in the nails” for the 1er March. In an old KLO hull, facing Hyper U.

The stinging question: promising low prices without volumes, utopia or magic?

I admit the project’s dose of utopia. But that doesn’t mean being disconnected from reality. Yes, we can make low prices without volumes if we know how to buy, source, work on products, etc. As for the very principle of utopia, it was needed when Denis Dumont launched Grand Frais or Bruno Quattrucci his network in the Paris region.

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