Text: Marco Polisson – For the inhabitants of Lyon, it will always be Hôtel-Dieu. In 2018, its operators wanted to add the adjective “Fantastic” to raise it to the height of their mercantile ambitions. To also erase his past in the service of the sick and the needy, which was his first calling and centuries old.
Unfortunately for them, today “big” is combined with big failure, judging by the repeated bankruptcies that have followed each other for 4 years. There is no need to go back to it The city of gastronomy, the most emblematic, whose responsibility is shared by the Metropolis of Lyon, the Spanish company Magma Cultura, chosen by tender to run it and by Scaprim, manager of Hôtel-Dieu on behalf of Crédit Agricole. The sign roll is clear evidence of the manager’s amateurism, ready to sign with any brand to collect the rent as quickly as possible.
Many spectators among visitors, few consumers.
At each interview, Patrick Muller, the director of the site, announces staggering numbers in terms of visitors. The problem, constantly cited since 2018, is that it still hasn’t converted them into consumers. This is problematic for traders who face exorbitant rent costs, identified by all the actors we met when the Grand Hôtel Dieu’s number 1 problem was renovated for 250 million euros. Credit Agricole, known for his questionable methodsbought the place from Eiffage and wants to make its investment profitable as soon as possible… even if it means sawing off the branch it’s on.
Problem number 2 is ineffective and untargeted communication. The visuals from GHD – no doubt priced in gold – are as hollow as they are invisible. This means that the brands often have to communicate on their own, which creates additional costs when the rents are already astronomical, which e.g. leading to the clothing brand going bankrupt before the summer. Kayl N Co who had invested heavily in a 1,500 m2 showroom. To no avail.
No promotion of food halls that die
Three years after its inauguration, how many Lyonnais know that the shopping center contains food halls of 1,200 m2? Have you ever seen a communication campaign with its artisans? Abandoned for most of the day, the Halles de l’Hôtel-Dieu lost their butcher this summer, in this case the company AMT Viandes Hôtel-Dieu, a cousin of the famous parent company. The troll which refocuses its know-how on Halle’s Paul Bocuse. Where she gets the recognition she deserves.
This Tuesday, September 13, it was the fishmonger’s turn Vianey to clean up her nets to retreat to her home port of Croix-Rousse. These departures have only worsened the already acrimonious relations between the 9 Halles traders and manager Scaprim, a situation that has lasted since 2019. According to our sources, after Trolliet and Vianey, other Halles brands should close their doors before the end of the year. , because the situation is unsustainable.
The craftsmen, gathered around Jean-Paul Pignol in a GIE, has indeed invested 2 million euros in furnishing the halls, to which is added 530,000 euros in annual rent (i.e. 41,000 euros per month). “The Cherry and Pumpkin stand is empty, officially due to lack of staff. It’s hard to see how other businesses could survive in such a context. In the end, these halls will remain a huge marketing failure, with fanciful attendance forecasts” concludes the gastronomic columnist Harry Covert. As a final note?
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The number of visitors to GHD
In 2017, Scaprim publishes a forecast of 10 million/year, one year before the opening
2018: Opening 27 April 100,000 visitors per week
2019: 4.8 million visitors (-100,000 per week)
2022: 5.2 million visitors (100,000 per week)