Article : La Nouvelle République, Thursday 27 March 2014
Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre. Specialising in alterations and bringing goods into compliance for the ready-to-wear industry, Berry Services is now positioned in online sales with Body and Co.
Jean-Claude Benéteau is an eternal optimist. Even in times of crisis. The owner of Berry Services, a company specialising in bringing ready-to-wear goods into compliance, predicts an increase of 20 % in its turnover for 2014: “An ambitious but not unrealistic objective, given that our commercial offer has developed”.
Jean-Claude Benéteau foresaw this upturn with the construction of a 5,100 m2 logistics centre spread over three levels, at the end of 2012: “An investment of €1.5 million, without subsidies”. For a market that looks to be promising: “Two new companies, including the e-commerce retailer Body and Co, entrust us with order picking and delivery for the national and international market”.
Nestled in the Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre ZA (small business area), Berry Services now covers almost 10,000 m2. The company’s core business areas: “The packaging, repair, ironing, labelling and bringing into compliance of garments", says the director of Berry Services, whose some 250 customers include La Halle aux Vêtements, Casino, H&M and some big brands.
Eight to ten million items per year
“We have invested €300,000 in a steam tunnel capable of processing a thousand items per hour”. Jean-Claude Benéteau highlights what makes his company stand out: “Our added value is the special attention we pay to products, which distinguishes us from logistics companies”.
For example, in November 2013, Berry Services received from large retailers a batch of 16,000 shirts from Bangladesh. The whole batch was to be reconditioned in a gift box for Christmas. From socks to winter coats and underwear, Berry Services repairs and packages "eight to ten million items a year" to be put on sale in shops.
Jean-Claude Benéteau is confident about his new foray into logistics: “We carry out order picking and delivery to shop customers, both in France and abroad, with Japan, Russia and China. In a way, we have relocated the production carried out in Asia to the Indre département”.
Depending on the orders, Berry Services employs temporary workers. However, Jean-Claude Benéteau has long anticipated the symbolic milestone of 50 employees with the creation of a works council.
From euro converters to clothing
In the business world, Jean-Claude Benéteau is thought of as an alien. The expression makes him smile. “I created Berry Services on 5 October 1998, by setting up here, in a small 400 m² intermediary factory, to assemble franc to euro converters”. To do this, he had a little help from, and the backing of, the mayor.
Originally from Vendée département, Jean-Claude Benéteau, who studied engineering in Besançon (Doubs département), discovered the Indre département by working for ten years at Mead Engineering in Châteauroux. Coincidentally, the new logistics manager of Berry Services, Daniel Mercier, is also a former employee of Mead Emballage. Jean-Claude Benéteau’s business venture was not easy at first - “doing door-to-door sales, equipped with just a telephone. “In 2000, the humble Berry Services won its first textile client, La Halle aux Vêtements, in Montierchaume. He continues: “It was just labelling. Then we went on to quality control. So I recruited workers from the garment industry because companies were closing down, as was the case for Berry Sud Confection”. Nowadays, Berry Services is thinking bigger “with the recruitment of a sales representative, one position for the whole of France”.