MOROCCO - Energy & Mining
CEO, Benson Shoes
Mohammed Benamour graduated from the Institute of Foreign Trade of Paris (ISCE). He is the third generation in a family of shoemakers, and he joined the family business Sté Chérifienne de Maroquinerie – Ets IDEAL in 1989 specializing in the manufacture of the famous Rangers for the Moroccan army. He established Benson Shoes in 1996, and in 2005 the first Benson Shoes franchise store was created. Today, the network of franchised stores continues to develop, and the brand is present in Europe, Japan, and Africa.
In terms of production, you export 85%. In this regard, how have you adapted your strategies in order to maintain exports?
We took on a survival strategy over several phases and embraced that survival instinct that enables one to make it through. At the beginning of the pandemic, we experienced a three-month shutdown whereby we closed the plant, along with everyone else. Now, we are back in business. As we are fortunate enough to have our own brand, we did not have to depend on receiving private-label products. In fact, this has allowed us to continue to take on, even during the three months of lockdown, some small orders. We have also transformed our collection, and today, 30% of our collection is sneakers. The first strategic element was to implement rapid changes in the collection so as to safeguard the past. Local production stands at 20% compared to the 80% that is exported. That 20% represents almost 40% of our turnover, because we deal more in B2B. Therefore, we sought to make up for the drop in sales in the local market.
What are your goals for 2021?
Primarily, our goal is to remain strong as a company; that is of vital importance. We are executing some careful calculations to ensure we can keep up. Our strategy for 2021 is based on recovery. In the case of a company such as ours, this was not a one-shot deal. We have truly built stronger and stronger collaborations with long-standing clients. The most recent one now stands at eight or nine years of collaboration. We are a small production, and we have a particular niche, and that is how we have always worked. We build and work on real partnerships with our clients. Finally, there will be a certain level of rebound toward 4Q2021, by which I mean September. We will have a much clearer vision if we make our decisions based on production rates. There is, once again, a desire for consumption. We are confident about that restart. We will not look for new clients or new alliances; our clients are with us.
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