Benjamin Dessange Predicts Dramatic Growth for Dessange Luxury Salon and Spa Franchise

Chairman of the Executive Board shares details of Dessange International’s strategic growth in an interview with Eurazeo PME

Benjamin Dessange, Chairman of the Executive Board at Dessange International

Eurazeo PME, a leading investment company with $4.3 billion in investments, has a 74% equity investment in Dessange International, our parent company. The Paris-based investment company, one of the largest in Europe, recently published an interview with our chief visionary and leader, Benjamin Dessange. In the interview, Benjamin offers a glimpse into growth strategies for all three franchise brands owned by Dessange International.

One thing’s for certain: Benjamin is laser-focused on dramatically growing the footprint of the Dessange salon and spa luxury franchise. He envisions at least 30 new Dessange salon franchises in the coming five years.

Here’s some of what Benjamin has to say about the future of Dessange International.

What are the vectors of your growth strategy?

First of all, the group’s aggressive international expansion, with our sights set on the Middle East and Eastern Europe. We are also counting on the high-end salon chain Camille Albane and, since its acquisition in 2012, the Fantastic Sams chain — which is No.1 in the U.S. family segment. Our five-year U.S. target is to expand from 1,200 to 2,000 Fantastic Sams salons and to leverage them to open 300 Camille Albane salons and 30 Dessange salons within five years. In France, we will seek to breathe new life into the hair salons, to enhance their revenues and products, and to step up franchise training and qualification.

What were the highlights of your strategy in 2014?

Without a doubt, the across-the-board change in the management team of Fantastic Sams to restore dynamism and a vision to the chain. But also the recruiting of a new products division head who will be independent in terms of planning, manufacturing and distribution. Another highlight was the signing of a distribution agreement in Europe, outside of our captive chains, for our Phytodess hair care products.

What decisive contribution has Eurazeo PME made to your transformation?

It has been a big help in repositioning and injecting more youth into the management team of Dessange International, a team that can now cope with the ambitions of the brands. I might add the steadfast backing during the acquisition of Fantastic Sams and the subsequent organization of the subsidiary.

What concrete steps forward did you make in 2014 in terms of corporate social responsibility?

To reinforce the human resources role within the group, we have overhauled this department from top to bottom. We have also recruited a CSR manager, whose main role is to quantify, highlight and develop all the initiatives that, until then, had been conducted in isolation and to endow them with greater consistency. And, as the cosmetics sector is subjected regularly to European directives, we must be exemplary in all areas. For example, our plant in Brittany has been certified ISO 9001 since 2001, and we use outsourcing for our Phytodess products in close partnership with NGOs.

What challenges do you face in 2015?

We are embarking on a year of celebrations for the group, with Dessange’s 60th anniversary, Camille Albane’s 20th and Fantastic Sams’ 40th. Another major event: the worldwide repositioning and development of our shampoo licence, in partnership with L’Oréal. The Festival de Cannes will serve as a showcase for launching this operation. And we will continue to certify the Dessange chain in France, which is a true exercise in promoting excellence.

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