Bergan luxury sheets for five star Hotels – La Voix du Nord
La Voix du Nord- 5 September 2010
Five-star clientele sleep on luxury sheets with Bergan
Dominique de Checchi bought up Bergan last June. This entrepreneur from Marcq-en-Barœul (near Lille) has just set himself up at the 2-Lys business hive in French Flanders (Northern France).
We talk to this manager of the upscale hotel and restaurant textiles supplier.
Bergan, Bergan… This name may well sound familiar. The company was founded twenty years ago in Frelinghien. Its current manager, Dominique de Checchi, takes us on a trip back in time. “After leaving the Franco-Belgian company TAF ABADIE, Pedro Vicente, a textiles engineer, founded Bergan, hiring up to five employees.” It was only last spring that Dominique de Checchi made his appearance in the company’s history. He kept the Bergan name, its customers and two employees. Despite its appearance, this was nevertheless a start-up, making Dominique de Checchi eligible to take up a place at the 2-Lys company hive, which he did in June.
June 2010. Exactly one year after leaving Nydel. At the start of summer 2009, Dominique de Checchi, marketing director for Nydel (tablecloths), was shown the door following the company from Hellemes’ liquidation. 120 of them lost their jobs that day, but not everyone had his ability to bounce back. Nor his experience – before Nydel, the fifty-year-old entrepreneur who grew up in Charente-Maritime had always worked in soft furnishings (designer textile brands such as JAB, BOUSSAC and FADINI BORGHI). No surprise, then, that his career path has now led him to Cité de la Toile.
L’Huitrière in Lille, La Grenouillère in Montreuil-sur-Mer and La Tour d’Argent in Paris feature among his customer references.
Bergan is all about excellence and high-end service: “We’re now exclusively targeting establishments with a minimum of three stars”. Its “150 active customers” expect fast delivery of “fine linen, for the table, room or bath”. In other words, beautiful products made from attractive, high quality cotton that withstands both customer requirements and machine washes. The fabrics come from the Vosges or from Belgium and the manufacturing is done here, in Armentières… by a single seamstress. These are small runs of bespoke products that can be embroidered with a crest or initials: faced with increased competition from textile rental companies, Bergan’s added value lies in customising fabrics. The company works with independent retailers, but you won’t find any Bergan linen at Hyatt, Barrière or Carlton, the luxury hotel chains. This doesn’t appear to frustrate the CEO. “Why would we want to push for big orders at all costs, when we’d struggle to fulfil them given our small size?”
“I prefer not to be dependent on too restricted a number of customers.” A pragmatic outlook.
For his first year of operation, Dominique de Checchi forecasts a turnover of €400,000, followed by annual growth rate of 15 to 20%. The financial health of high-end establishments has been little affected by the crisis and Bergan has not yet played all its cards. With his “product sustainability” and French manufacturing, Dominique de Checchi responds to the growing concern for the environment. An ultra-qualitative strategy that puts Bergan in pole position within a market where luxurious tallies with luxuriant. A market that isn’t about to compromise on the softness of its linen by opting for rough paper tablecloths.
La Voix du Nord, September 2010
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