Sláinte (“health” in Irish)! A formula that has rarely stuck so well to the Irish counter. Like many brands jostled by the yellow vests crisis in 2018, the specialist in Irish and Celtic products, based in Plouédern (29), believed to drink severe, in early 2020, when the first covid confinement followed Brexit. “We weren’t far behind,” remembers Hervé Taloc.
€ 7M more turnover
Eighteen months later, the boss raises a toast “to the loyalty of the Bretons”. A clientele which contributes to the strong vigor of the Comptoir Irlandais, driven by a 30% increase in its turnover compared to the pre-crisis period. “We went from 17 million euros in turnover in 2019, to 23.40 million euros on April 30, 2021. And, since the spring, the momentum has continued,” says the CEO who supports the good trend at the time of another performance indicator: the almost full repayment of the PGE (loan guaranteed by the State) of 2.50 million euros subscribed by his company at the start of the crisis. “We will have paid for it in December”, reports Hervé Taloc.
A concept ready to be exported
While consumers brave the current context “by indulging themselves with a good tea, a good marmalade or a good whiskey”, the Comptoir Irlandais goes upmarket on the net and sees far. “The idea is to double our network of 45 stores within ten years”, summarizes Hervé Taloc. After Lille, Nice and Poitiers, Comptoirs Irlandais are preparing to open “soon in Toulouse, Reims, Annecy”. Symbolic, the bar of the hundred pas-de-porte could well also pass by the foreigner.
“I am convinced that we have a card to play in Dublin”
“We are considering setting up in Belgium (Brussels), Germany, and even Ireland! I am convinced that we have a card to play in Dublin ”, lists the boss who would have nothing, either, against jointly opening a second store in Brest.
It is also there, on the commercial port, where it all began in 1987, that the chain’s “second development phase” is displayed in the window: new design, clean lines, Le Comptoir de l’An He offers bright shelves to his grocery store, his gift corner, his textiles. Without forgetting the spirits space: in the capital of Ponant, 18 linear meters serve as a setting for one of the most beautiful collections of whiskeys in France. 1,400 top-quality references, including rare, if not exclusive, bottles that can reach 40,000 euros … Enough to catch the eye of Capital magazine, which once again sets Le Comptoir apart in the delicatessen department. The moment to definitively toast. Tchin. Sláinte. Yec’hed mad
* Health, in Breton
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