The M6 magazine offers this Sunday, July 31 at 21.10 a report on Bandol, a town in the Var, where the turnover of certain companies increases with the sunset.
If the town of Bandol has 8000 inhabitants in normal times, its population is multiplied by five in the summer. An influx of holidaymakers who spend an average of 250 euros per week. In “Seaside: business that blazes at sunset”, “Capital” shows us that at no time are tourists most tempted. Some businesses in this seaside resort can thus achieve up to 90% of their turnover when the sun goes down. Carel Didier understood that well. She turned the family home – a sublime white three-storey villa on the edge of the beach – into a lounge bar during the summer. It opens at aperitif and offers 90-minute slots to its customers who come to take advantage of its breathtaking view of the sea.
Up to 60,000 holidaymakers per day
But if it is evidently the evenings that bring in the most money for traders, it is already necessary to attract tourists during the day. The city invests 250,000 euros per year in the beautification of the beaches, namely the management of mounds of Posidonia (an aquatic plant which, when it dies, washes up on the beaches but which, being protected, cannot be thrown away), the management of the lack of sand (which disappears a little more every year with global warming and rising water), as well as its transport, its leveling, without forgetting the maintenance. The operation is crucial because it is the beaches that attract up to 60,000 holidaymakers a day.
It is precisely when tourists leave the sea that Philippe Leulier’s activity takes off. This ice cream parlor is right next door, on the Quai des boutiques. It earns 90% of its revenue between 5pm and midnight. To differentiate himself from the competition, he sells his cones but also provides entertainment with a playlist of songs to attract customers to his business. For the 140 titles it broadcasts every night, it even pays a fee to SACEM. He has also invested in an Italian ice cream maker, which globally allows him to earn twice as much as artisanal ice cream.
Impact on sales
Further on, Aude Aregros runs a very small ready-to-wear shop, two meters wide. For her 20 m2, she pays a rent of 2100 euros per month. ” It’s a lot, but it’s worth it “, she believes. Since the city has widened the sidewalks of the Quai des boutiques to accommodate more tourists, the one aiming for a turnover of 100,000 euros hopes that this work will have an impact on sales. Over the summer, she even improvises herself as an evening entertainer to attract vacationers to his shop, located at the end of the quay, so far from the entertainment and throngs in the evening.
Yann, he decided to settle far from the other shops, on the dike in Bandol, where the rent is cheaper. Together with his friends, they transform two containers into a trendy restaurant. “Capital” follows them during the summer holidays. “We do more than I thought “, says the boss in the middle of summer. However, he admits that he has changed a little in his organization: no more service at dinner time, but evenings with a DJ. And the customers are there thanks to communication on social networks. Finally, there are also the snacks which are a hit in Bandol in the summer. They have a turnover of one million euros.
Faced with evening traders, they organize themselves during the day to also take the holidaymakers’ expenses. There is Anthony Lalande, owner of a naval base who takes his own flyers to the tourist office; or François and Tristan, sellers of scrunchies and donuts, launching their delivery app on the beach. They have invested 300,000 euros and want to double their turnover in three years.