2018 CONGRESS IN PORTO

BigMat International sets it sights and leaves a lasting impression on its partners in Porto!

BigMat International recently united its partners in Porto (Portugal) to celebrate its annual congress, with the event running from 17-21 October 2018.

An opportunity to listen, share and align our sights.

Independence and interdependence: when mutual commitment drives individual gain: this was the main thread of the event, together with the challenges in store and how the Group will continue to perform in a sector that is becoming increasingly competitive, digital and multi-channel.

From an international standpoint, BigMat International addressed two key strategic concerns: commercial policy and the need for shared international communication. On the first point, highlights included the presentation of a new strategy for developing private label products, while on the second, a video was premièred on the Group’s transnational values, stemming from the ongoing collaboration with all countries across the network.

The BigMat countries were also heavily involved in the various working meetings to be held over the course of the event, showcasing and sharing the milestones and main success stories of 2018, which were previously hand-picked by the Group’s partners from around the world. Highlights here included a deal arranged by a BigMat central office to acquire strategic points of sale from a partner who was departing the Group; the importance of offering new ancillary sales services (product installation); full management of the point of sale from central offices and also an online purchasing management system.

Guest speaker Serge Papin stressed the importance of encouraging partners to act for the wider good and to embrace a shared dynamic when they decide to belong to an independent group. The former chairman and CEO of retailer cooperative Système U (comprising the Super U, Hyper U, Utile and U Express stores) added that in his experience a cooperative of independent stores can only succeed if all members get involved and commit to the venture.

Jean-Marc Megnin, Managing Director of Shoppermind – Altavia and another guest speaker at the event, addressed the main trends and developments in global B2B and B2C commerce. He shared his long-term vision of the construction market and of BigMat International, stressing that physical points of sale remain an essential element for the future success of the brand and must evolve as distribution becomes increasingly digitalised.

Sharing, the cornerstone of this year’s congress, illustrates the interdependence that essentially unites all of us as members and partners of the network and which we can bring to bear on the international, national and local stage to further our goals.

Claude Coutant, President of BigMat International, underscored this point on various occasions: “Being together and doing things together is an absolute must. We must all appreciate how we depend on one another as part of a virtuous circle, and understand that when we are together the group becomes stronger and gains more freedom.”

We already know the rules of play…

It’s time to fight for what we want to achieve!

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