The M6 magazine offers, this Sunday, July 31 at 9:10 p.m., a report on Bandol, a town in the Var in which the turnover of certain businesses soars with the sunset.
If the city of Bandol has 8000 inhabitants in normal times, its population is multiplied by five in summer. An influx of vacationers who spend, on average, 250 euros per week. In “Seaside: business that blazes at sunset”, “Capital” shows us that it is not at any time that tourists are 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 this well. She transformed the family home – a sublime white villa on three floors on the edge of the beach – into a lounge bar, during the summer. It opens at aperitif time and offers 90-minute slots to its customers who come to enjoy its breathtaking view of the sea. It is sold out and brings in around 3000 euros in revenue daily.
Up to 60,000 holidaymakers per day
But, if it is obviously 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 a year in the beautification of the beaches, namely the management of mounds of posidonia (an aquatic marine plant which, when it dies, washes up on the beaches but which, as it is protected, cannot be thrown away), the management of the lack of sand (which disappears a little more each year with global warming and the rising waters), as well as its transport, its leveling, without forgetting maintenance. The operation is decisive because it is the beaches that attract up to 60,000 holidaymakers per day.
It is precisely when tourists leave the seaside that Philippe Leulier’s activity takes off. This ice cream parlor is located just next door, on the Quai des boutiques. It makes 90% of its revenue between 5 p.m. and midnight. To distinguish himself from the competition, he sells his cones but also provides entertainment with a playlist of songs supposed to attract customers to his business. For the 140 titles it broadcasts each evening, it even pays a fee to SACEM. He has also invested in an Italian ice cream machine, which globally allows him to earn twice as much as on artisanal ice cream.
An impact on sales
Further on, Aude Aregros runs a very small ready-to-wear store, 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. As the city has widened the sidewalks of the Quai des boutiques to accommodate more tourists, the one which aims for a turnover of 100,000 euros hopes that this work will have an impact on its sales. Over the summer, she even improvises herself as an evening entertainer to attract holidaymakers to her store located at the end of the quay, so far from the entertainment and the crowds in the evening.
Yann, he decided to settle far from the other shops, on the dyke of Bandol, where the rent is cheaper. 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 the summer. He admits all the same to having slightly modified his organization: no more service at noon, but evenings with DJ. And 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 merchants, those of the day organize themselves to also capture the expenses of holidaymakers. There is Anthony Lalande, owner of a nautical base who himself brings his flyers to the tourist office; or François and Tristan, sellers of scrunchies and donuts who are launching their delivery app on the beach. They have invested 300,000 euros and want to double their turnover in three years.