French online retailer Exagona has a very specific product assortment: it only sells products which are 100% made in France. So, the design, the manufacturing, the assembling, the distribution, they all take place in France. The website sells fashion, food, furniture and much more. We interviewed Charlotte Bourgeois from Exagona.
Could you explain how and when Exagona was started?
“The first idea, initiated over three years ago, was to create a different marketplace. The founder, Stéphane Souvenet, wanted to allow producers, creators, manufacturers and artisans to communicate about their products more easily so consumers who wish to buy differently could be reached. During the last couple of years the company has finally found its purpose. Since November last year, Exagona has officially launched and it allows French consumers as well as foreigners to buy products that are 100% made in France.”
What does ‘Made in France’ mean specifically?
“Our partners must respect our charter, so everyone can operate on the same page. They have the obligation to certificate that their products are made, designed, manufactured, assembled and distributed in France. At Exagona, our partners don’t compete with companies that aren’t from France. And by distributing only French products, our website is helping to support the social and local economy.”
But when all products are made in France and the products are delivered directly to the customer by the supplier, won’t the products get very expensive?
“We don’t take much benefits from the products we sell to the consumer, we are cheaper than a supermarket or hypermarket. So for the consumer it’s a good opportunity, because products that are made in France are a bit expensive anyway. And for small producers, it offers them the opportunity to sell their products more easily.”
How do consumers, suppliers, media et cetera respond to this ‘French-only’ shop?
“The customers think it’s a good concept, they agree with this. But still, they don’t include it in their daily shopping. What we offer is a new trend and it’s slowly becoming more popular in France. And our suppliers enjoy the concept as well, because with Exagona they aren’t put in competition with others that don’t produce in France and may be cheaper than they are.”
What are your plans for the future of Exagona?
“Our main priority is to showcase local producers and small businesses. We want to run a community-focused and local operation, while helping small companies promoting their know-how and offering them new customers an original communication channel. In the future, we want to be able to sell all over the world. It would give other countries the possibility to buy French quality products.”