Fanny Auger (Nature & Découvertes): Stores are the best media for a brand

Meeting in Biarritz …

One to One Biarritz 2021 was a great success: 600 people and good meetings under a gentle Basque sun …

We met Fanny Auger, Brand Director for Nature & Découvertes. She spoke during the conference “stop greenwashing, let’s take action!”

Nature & Discoveries in a few words?

Nature & Découvertes is above all a brand, more than a character. I say this because 70% of our products are products that we publish ourselves, even though we do not own any factories. We have a production unit, Terre d’Oc, which supplies tea, organic essential oils and fragrances. We have been editing products for 31 years, imagining, co-designing products with designers, Montessori experts among others, having them manufactured and launching them under the Nature & Découvertes brand.

Which omnichannel approach?

We have 87 stores in France, four in Belgium, one in Luxembourg, seven in Switzerland with one franchisee, one in Spain. We continue to open stores. We were one of the first resellers to launch a site and then its marketplace.

Under Covid, we had to close our stores. In return, the website has been a hit because we still sell important products, such as toys. Parents wondered how they were going to employ their children during incarceration. We offer smart toys, Montessori toys, family games, etc., as well as equipment for yoga, meditation, which helps you sleep and dedicated to well-being.

Website traffic remained at a high level after the lockdown, twice as much as last year in the same period.

You are not advertising. It’s daring … Why?

The founders already knew retail very well before launching Nature & Découvertes. They had founded Pier Import with the success we know.

They have developed Nature & Découvertes stores one after the other. They were based on the principle that those who talk about it are the ones who do the least.

More than anything else, we believe that stores are the best medium for a brand

Especially when you have 87 stores, all over France, and what’s more, sensory, eventful stores. At launch, it was quite unique. The shops at that time were generally very simple, it was neon lights and shelves where you just put the products.

What do you offer from experience?

From the beginning, our founders put diffusers in the shops, with the characteristic scent of Estéban juice – It has been the same for 31 years – sounds of nature, of birds. In a shop, in a shopping mall you can hear the river, the fountain, the birds …

One can also taste tea, admittedly not at the moment because of Covid, but hopefully it will come back. We arrange workshops, nature excursions, we arrange more than 600 nature excursions with guides that cost a maximum of five to ten euros

Nature & Découvertes is a brand that offers tools and concrete solutions to connect with yourself, with others, with your family, with your friends, with those you love.

The staff is highly trained and very friendly. We do not use the term salespeople, but guide advisors. They all have a story. I love chatting with our guide advisors … For example, there is one who has taken part-time to write a science fiction novel, another who comes from a Latin American tribe, and he represents his tribe at UNESCO, he resumed his studies at Sciences Po at the age of 40 years. Each one has an incredible story, and if we call them the guide advisors, it’s because we initially recruited real mountain guides and nature guides.

Of course, we had to train them, teach them to sell.

From the beginning of the 90’s, the founders took as their starting point two assumptions: We do not want to advertise, but we want to invest 6% of the salary amount in employee training – This is still the case today.

Commitment is at the heart of Nature & Découvertes. Can you tell us more?

Today, there are many companies working on their purpose and mission. The Lemarchand family, six months before the opening of the brand’s first store, wrote the Nature & Découvertes charter. It was a matter of uniting people and nature by offering experience-rich shops for young and old, of connecting people again to make ambassadors for this fragile oasis, which is the Earth. That was in 1990!

in 1993, Nature & Découvertes produced the first CSR report. 1993. In 1994, the fund was set up under the Fondation de France. Every year we donate 10% of the net profit to our fund, and we help about 150 to 160 projects around biodiversity and active education in contact with nature. In 2007, we made our first CO2 assessment. In 2015, we became a B Corp company, which means we are evaluated on five pillars: management, customers, people, environment and communities.

Recently, we worked on our raison d’être and completed this project in April 2020. Our raison d’être is to give concrete reasons to all those who want to change their lifestyle. This genuine, authentic, deep commitment at Nature & Découvertes, we try to make it live more and more on the product range.

We have set up an internal department for sustainable innovation in the procurement department. He works especially with the circular economy in our products and on the reduction of the CO2 impact. We have developed a list of 28 crippling criteria that we apply to our products every time we launch a new collection, and which we expand to our marketplace. We engage stakeholders with us!

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