Michel Lhuillier ventures into hardware

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Sunday, March 9, 2014


FROM pawnshops and money transfer to food, Michel Lhuillier has now ventured into the hardware business, opening a hardware store in Cebu last Thursday.
Bargain by M.Lhuillier is a 400-square meter store located on 38 Gorordo Ave., Cebu City. It is a partnership between Lhuillier, DSK Asia president and chief executive officer Alain Descombels and Alliance Francaise de Cebu director Louis Thevenin.

The hardware store sells a mix of kitchen wares, house tools, home decors and personal accessories, among many other items.

Bargain is the fi rst hardware store of DSK Asia in the Philippines.

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Descombels said the store was opened with an initial investment of $1 million.

“Cebu is a nice market to start a business, it’s a diffi cult market. If you succeed in Cebu, you will succeed in other parts
of the country,” said Lhuillier.

DSK Asia operates 30 hardware stores in France. DSK Asia also opened hardware store chains in other countries. “Bargain” is the name of DSK Asia’s hardware store in the Philippines.

Descombels said the name is fi t for the Cebuano market, who are always on the lookout for bargain stores that sell products at lower prices.

“Our products are sold cheap but with good quality,” Descombels said.

Products sold in Bargain are a mix of items from France, India and China.

Items are sold at 30 percent lower than the regular retail price, according to Descombels.

“I always consider price as a factor in retail,” said Lhuillier. He said price is a primary consideration only with Bargains but with his other businesses as well.

The official also challenged buyers in Bargains that if they find an item sold cheaper at another store, management will offer a refund.

“Find an item with cheaper price and we refund you the difference,” Lhuillier said.

Bargain also accepts wholesale orders.

Thevenin, who is also the general manager of Bargain, said that in six
months, Bargain will buy a 40-foot truck Michel Lhuillier ventures into hardware that will serve as Bargain’s moving store that will go around Cebu province to sell fishing and agricultural tools and other
essential items to townspeople.

Thevenin said the moving store will sell items at a cheaper price than even the Bargain store in Gorordo.

Bargain positions itself as the “Zara of Hardware.” Zara is a fashion brand known for importing items in small quantities so it can change previous items for newer items every two weeks. The trio said they will adopt the same scheme. (JOG)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 10, 2014.

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