Three Jardiland stores are sold to Truffaut. Last August, the Competition Authority authorized InVivo’s takeover of Jardiland under certain restrictions. The sale was initiated in November 2017. It thus allowed the agricultural cooperative group to consolidate in an imperial way its position in the pet and garden center sector. In the chain of gardening brands present in France, Gamm Vert, represents 1.6 billion euros in turnover in 2017. The Delbard group weighs 250 million euros. Finally, Jardiland and its 750 million euros in turnover enters the lap of the cooperative group.
Truffaud is therefore one of the specialized brands for the garden alongside other brands. Although it has been able to assert its position in the sector, it must still be wary of competition. Indeed, even if the sale makes it possible to accentuate its place, some brands win the hearts of consumers. According to the ranking of the favorite brands of the French carried out by EY Parthénon in 2021, the Gamm Vert brand is a winner in the gardening sector. However, for the brand that displays in 2020 a turnover of 105 111 536 € the fan rate has decreased by 0.4% between 2020 and 2021.
For Truffaut, which then posted a turnover of €414,474,000 in 2020, it was then necessary to conquer the hearts of its customers and attract new ones. This is well known in order to face the competition it is advisable not to neglect the sympathy capital of a brand. This notion, if mastered, can become a real competitive advantage.
The brand is therefore part of the InVivo Retail distribution division. InVivo Retail is a union of agricultural cooperatives. It is organized around four main areas of activity. These are Bioline by InVivo for agriculture, InVivo Grains for international trading, InVivo Retail for gardening and food distribution and InVivo Wine for wine. At the same time, it has an entity entirely dedicated to innovation, InVivo Digital Factory. Thus, the cooperative union intervenes from the field to the plate by meeting the needs of professionals but also consumers. The objective is to pool forces. For this, InVivo invests responsibly and sustainably. Today, InVivo is present in no less than 19 countries around the world and has a turnover of 5.1 billion euros. In addition, InVivo is launching a strategy to be achieved by 2030. The aim is to develop its global position through different actions.
The Competition Authority is an independent administrative authority that must fight against any anti-competitive practice on the national market. In its decision of 24 August 2018, it had therefore accompanied the acquisition of exclusive control of Jardiland by InVivo Retail with guarantees of competition in 11 territories. At the time, the group had committed to divest its 11 outlets. This is done for 3 of them. Indeed, since March 1, 2019, three Jardiland stores have been sold to its competitor Truffaut. This sale of three stores by the brand covers a symptomatic evolution of the gardening market.
A transfer to avoid an anti-competitive position
The acquisition of Jardiland by InVivo Retail posed a problem. Indeed, according to the Competition Authority, there were some notable risks of disruption of competition. This break could take place in several areas of the national market. Thus, several sites where the competitive situation was ensured by the establishment of Gamm Vert and Jardiland, were reported. They presented themselves as risk areas. More specifically, these were the chartres, Clamecy, Cosne-sur-Loire, Limoges, Poitiers, Montélimar, Point-de-Beauvoisin, Roanne-Malby, Saint-Dizier, Sevrey and Vendôme.
To remedy this situation, InVivo proposed the sale of 5 Jardiland points of sale. On the other hand, it proposed the termination of its franchise agreements in 6 other points of sale. This concerns the brands of Jardiland, Gamm Vert or Delbard. It is in this context that the agricultural cooperative announced on March 1 that three of its stores were sold to Truffaut. These stores were located in the cities of Limoges, Poitiers and Montélimar. They have therefore opened under their new banner.
A concentration of stores, a symptom of the garden market
The purpose of the Competition Authority’s decision is to enforce the principle of competition. This principle must protect consumers from a monopolistic position. The latter could harm their purchasing power. Thus, the sale and acquisition by InVivo Retail of Jardiland last September is far from trivial. It marks a fundamental movement in the gardening and pet store sector. This is the concentration of brands within a few large groups. The CEO of InVivo Retail Guillaume Darrasse does not hide his ambition. Indeed, he indicated the objective of being able to influence the European market.
If the movement of the last decade has been rather that of the absorption of independent garden centres by the large organized networks, which have been able to consolidate in the market, because of their notoriety and their financial situation healthy enough to afford to invest, this change of ownership marks the transition to a higher speed. Indeed, InVivo Retail’s objective is to assert itself as a European player by buying a major brand.
The gardening market accounted for nearly 3 billion euros in 2017, with growth of 1.7%. Surfing on the ecological greening of many individuals, this market is dynamic in the plant sector. It is much less so in that of the pet store. Indeed, e-commerce is taking an increasingly prominent place (8% in 2017). In fact, this acquisition by InVivo is mainly a sign of the sluggishness of sales in specialized stores. Online sales absorb the majority of the industry’s growth. Truffaut’s merger strategy is met with Truffaut’s choice of franchise, while other small independent local garden chains such as Kiriel and Point Vert have formed a buying partnership.
Symptom of the evolution of the garden center market, the sale of Jardiland and the events that follow should not mask the diversification strategy of the InVivo Retail division. The cooperative group has also invested in the food sector by acquiring the Bio and Co brand, which is in addition to the Fresh here brand. A group to follow, especially in the New Aquitaine region, where developments could be felt very soon, in a dynamic region that currently has twenty-one Jardiland stores in all twelve departments that compose it.
InVivo Retail buys Jardiland
LSA Conso – Buyout of Jardiland by In Vivo Retail – 12 September 2018
Competition Authority – Decision on the takeover of Jardiland brands by In vivo Retail – 24 August 2018
LSA Conso – Gardening market on the rise – 2 February 2018
LSA Conso – Delbard wins new franchisees – 5 January 2017
Franchise Magazine – The Gardening Market in Full Consolidation – March 8, 2018