Open sesame! Interview with Stéphane Pellegrin, Managing Director of Maxi Bazar SA

Aladdin’s cave has nothing on Maxi Bazar if your idea of treasure is branded toiletries and household articles at signifi cantly lower prices than usual and a wide range of decorative items for the home. The successful chain of town-center stores has a strong presence in the French and Swiss markets in a hugely competitive sector. Its success is based on a continuously changing range of competitively priced, attractive products sold in easily accessible city-center locations. With more than 20,000 individual product lines available in the larger stores, they are the kind of shop where customers like to stop by regularly and browse. Maxi Bazar ensures a high rate of footfall in its stores by offering a constantly changing product range. Besides perennial favourites, the store has weekly promotions which are often tailored to suit the season or particular events in the calendar. Customers coming in to buy household consumables at a much lower price than in the supermarket will often find something else of use. “We appeal a lot to impulse buyers,” says Managing Director Stéphane Pellegrin. “Our best-selling product category is kitchen accessories, and our typical customer is female.” Knowing that women typically are responsible for the majority of household shopping, it is not surprising that Maxi Bazar’s sales concept is strongly skewed towards this target audience. Tableware, vases, picture frames, candles, lamps, decorative items, stationery, toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning products, hobby items, party accessories and gift articles all jostle for attention and make it possible to [...]