ADDRESSING the AFP press agency, Eminence group CEO Dominique Seau warned that because sales had declined by 2 per cent during the first 10 months of the year, a slight setback was expected for full year 2014. He added that a comparable decline was expected in 2015. In 2013, the group had generated sales that were 0.4 per cent higher at EUR 130.9m, of which exports accounted for 20 per cent. Since then, price competition in France had become considerably sharper and exports to Russia and Ukraine had slumped. In 2015, the company plans to tweak design elements of its Athena and Eminence brands of men’s underwear with the objective of generating more impulse purchases. It is also intended to boost exports to the Middle East, North Africa and French-speaking countries in West Africa.
The emphasis placed on French-speaking export markets is a weakness of many small to medium enterprises in France. Once an admired upmarket product, the Eminence label could well have retained enough prestige to win entry into other markets.