“As a reminder, we are low cost. to the point. Let’s be smart. Always do it right the first time. And at a lower price »† A note in the employee’s room of a Carter-Cash store in Wattignies, near Lille, recalls the DNA of the brand created 20 years ago under the auspices of Mobivia. At that time, while the group was building its ecosystem around maintenance and repair with the networks of Norauto and Midas, the big boss Eric Derville supported Patrick Lefebvre, one of his close associates, with the idea of approaching the French automotive sector. different or against the general trend. The creation of a brand specializing in the distribution of spare parts, tires, oil, batteries and cheap accessories was therefore inevitable for them. be the competitor of everyone and no one at the same time† In a letter to the teams, the duo described the concept as follows: “The products will be different and the prices more aggressive, workshop services greatly reduced, sales service very limited, merchandising sober, practical and cheap. The target group is the do-it-yourselfer, the mechanic, young people, looking for price, choice and usability »† A bit like the hard discount sauce we know from Brico Dépôt and Lidl.
Consolidating the Carter-Cash Model
Using an ex-Norauto site, the founder had carte blanche, he opened his first store in 2002 in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (Essonne). Above all, it was not necessary to use the codes of his Norauto cousins or even Midas, but optimize costs in terms of real estate, communication, presentation in sales areas, etc., to always have products, accessories and services at low prices. offer prices.
Even today, Carter-Cash stores have been set up in former industrial wastelands to be visible and accessible to as many people as possible; the decoration is non-existent to the point that the concrete floors are preserved, the shelves come alive with wooden pallets, cardboard boxes and plastic bins, and the plastered displays throughout attract attention with their fluorescent yellow color! Each shop has its own workshop: the area for mounting tires or changing oil is minimalist. Employees have the status of salesperson fitter and juggling between commercial activity and workshop services. “The first step was to validate the concept and the customer offer, find the economic and organizational balances, convey the message of low cost, because it is not innate in our employees, nor in the consumers. We sell a battery in 15 seconds because we only have one offer. There is no arguing between a first prize, a private label or a major brand. It was therefore necessary to create all the processes, make them “duplicable” for all stores, establish the methods and tools for training, communication, work on centralization, to enable a single efficient model »underlines Thierry Deuzé, director of Carter cash international.
For ten years, store openings for the discount brand were carried out in cycles of acceleration phases, until reaching a network of 35 outlets in France in 2014. Since the concept was profitable in 2010, the question of international development arises. Three years later, the first Spanish store and an Italian branch open. in 2022, the network has a total of 84 sites, of which 73 in France (and 800 employees), 6 in Spain, 4 in Italy and 1 in Morocco. The company is only developing in affiliates and has no plans to open up to franchising. “We are an in-house product of Mobivia and under the control of a large group it is easier. Thanks to Norauto, we know the markets we address. We don’t do the same job, but his story has been very profitable for us.”says the leader.
Carter-Cash, in the age of digital transformation
From 2014, in addition to developing its physical network, Carter-Cash decided to continue on the web as well. She created her first shopping site in 2012. After online booking, the click and collectCarter Cash launched home delivery in 2019 and bought 100% of the assets of the e-commerce parts company Yakarouler.com two years later. An opportunity to accelerate digital transformation and multiply the offer by 10: if it relies on a national catalog of 80,000 references, the acquisition gives access to 700,000 part references
additional and centralized orders via a logistics platform. “There is still a lot to be done in terms of synergies and organization, we are going to take advantage of what is already there to learn about digital. This is an important growth engine for us, assures Thierry Deuzé. The story continues and the brand does not deviate from its principles, especially in times of crisis. The boss confirms that sales have been maintained during the pandemic and that they are today grows by more than 10%† “We are increasingly aligning with our commercial difference. It’s so easy to get gentrified. We won’t change, but the battle for low costs is permanent. Our culture is not to act like the others”†
Carter Cash in numbers
- 84 stores
- 4 market countries
- 850 employees in France and 73 stores
- Turnover increased by more than 10%
- The workshop: 5 to 6% of turnover / average age of repaired vehicles: 11 years.
- Online sales: 10% of turnover
- Exceed 100 stores within 2 years