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Boardriders Europe’s CEO Nicolas Foulet On Beaumanoir Group License Deal

In early June the French based Beaumanoir Group licensed the activities of the Boardriders Group and the operation of its emblematic brands; Quiksilver, Roxy, Billabong, DC Shoes, Element, RVCA and VonZipper in Western Europe. SOURCE caught up with Boardriders Europe CEO Nicolas Foulet to hear all about the deal.

Please could we have a brief history of Beaumanoir.
The Beaumanoir Group is a family company, founded by Roland and Jocelyne Beaumanoir in 1981.  Starting with a single shop, it is now a major player in fashion and lifestyle in France, with a business turnover in 2023 of 2.3 billion euros. It employs over 15,000 people worldwide and has more than 2,700 retail outlets.  The company has grown quickly with the recent acquisition of brands such as La Halle in 2020, Caroll in 2021, and the French marketplace in 2022. In addition to its distribution business, the Group has C-Log, a large logistics subsidiary.

What was it about Boardriders that attracted Beaumanoir to approach Authentic?
By taking over the operations of the Boardriders Group and the management of its seven well-known brands from the outdoor segment, the Beaumanoir Group’s strategic goals of diversification and portfolio enrichment is achieved. This expansion will enable the Beaumanoir business to increase its presence both within France and at a European level.  Also Beaumanoir will be able to deploy its core skills, from retail to sourcing, not to mention supply chain to the benefit of both businesses.

And what made this deal so attractive to Authentic?
The strength, knowledge and strategic vision of a dynamic French company that has played its cards beautifully in the context of a turbulent clothing market.

Any details or numbers on the licensing deal itself?
Only that the licensing deal is for 15 years with an option to renew in another two 15 year tranches. The rest is confidential.

Please could we have a full list of the countries inside the agreement.
Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Greece, France and French overseas territories, UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal.

Who will be on the boardriders management team going forward?
Most of the management team will stay in place, but as we are in the middle of a restructuring plan, we cannot disclose any more information.

Any news on the individual brands?
QuiksilverRoxyBillabongDCElementRVCAVon Zipper are all included in the deal.

Who will now run each brand?
The acquisition is very recent and staff redeployment is underway. What we can affirm is that Boardrider’s head office will remain in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

Any planned changes in each brands positioning and strategic direction?
For now, we are not foreseeing any brand positioning changes. Our strategic intent is be to be best in class in the core market and to expand our lifestyle distribution. 

Will SW France now be the global headquarters for each of the brand’s product and content development?
Quiksilver, Roxy and Element will be globally centralised here in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.  We will also manage DC shoes, Apparel and Technical Outerwear for all brands.

How will Beaumanoir help Boardriders drive their business forward? Which back-office services will Boardriders adopt?
First and foremost, Beaumanoir will provide Boardriders long term stability which will allow us to build long term brand strategies which has not really been feasible since 2015. The key synergies will be based on Beaumanoir expertise in sourcing, logistics and retail. Beaumanoir has six sourcing offices around the world and has taken over the Boardriders sourcing office in HK.

In logistics Beaumanoir has its own operation called C-log, which is a major player in Europe and services other brands outside of the group. Boardriders logistics will ultimately be integrated onto this platform which will help improve the service levels for our consumers across the board and bring efficiencies. Retail development is a Beaumanoir specialty so Boardriders will benefit from their established knowledge and expertise.

What is the future for Boardrider’s stores both multi-brand and single brand?
Under the previous ownerships, retail development was completely stopped which has left us with an ageing collection of stores across Europe and a limited presence in key cities. The strategy is to re-invest in retail by refreshing stores and also opening in new locations. As we speak we already have more than 20 shop opening projects on the books. 

Beaumanoir has two office locations in Saint Malo and Paris. How does the Saint-Jean-de-Luz office fit into this?
Saint-Jean-de-Luz office is now the 3rd head office of the group and will continue to host the Boardriders activities going forward. 

Any plans for surf events in SW for this year?
Yes, we are planning to run the 2nd edition of the Boardriders Festival. This year will be an upgrade from last year, from the surfer roster, to the side events and in particular around the music. 

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