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Comptoir des Cotonniers

Leading women's clothing retail group in France

Created in 1972, Comptoir des Cotonniers is a leading French designer and distributor of woman's ready-to-wear clothing.

The company launched an innovative marketing concept centered on "mothers & daughters". By playing on the similarities of tastes of both mothers & daughters, this communication strategy proved to be very successful and allowed the company to develop a strong brand image targeting women aged between 20 and 40.

All of its products are designed in-house. At the time of our investment, the company had 130 points of sale in France only. After two years, at the time of exit, the company had developed a network of 290 points of sale and had expanded internationally in Europe and in Asia.

The investment focus was firstly to consolidate the company's market share in France by opening additional retail outlets (85 openings); secondly to expand the retail network internationally in neighbouring European countries (75 openings mainly in Spain, Belgium and the UK) and in Asia (especially in Japan) by signing up licences with local partners; and thirdly to keep innovating with notably the launch of a clothing line for young girls (4-16) in order to continue the advertising based on the "mothers & daughters" concept.

Alpha's role was key in the company's development: firstly by strengthening both management (recruitement of a new CEO in 2004) and operations; secondly by helping the transition from a family-owned french company to a large international group; thirdly by marketing the company as an international group towards its buyer "Fast Retailing"; and finally by negotiating on behalf of all the shareholders.

Industry Retail
Country France
Date of investment 05-2004
Turnover 120 M€
Status Realized