Complimentary toiletry kits, a booming market for French producer GM

At the end of a hotel stay, many of us will have occasionally slipped a shower gel or shampoo miniature from the complimentary toiletry kit into our suitcase. Known as welcome kits, hotel amenities or complimentary toiletries, they are a feature of hotel bathrooms the world over, and theirs is a booming business. Indeed, to give an example, in France alone there are 18,382 hotels, with a total of 660,000 rooms, nearly 200,000 more than 35 years ago.


Sales for the GM group grew by 8% in 2017 - DR

French group GM is a leader in the hotel complimentary products industry. The company was founded in 1988 by Georges Marchand and is now run by his two sons. In 2017, it generated a revenue of €55 million, up 8% over the previous year. In 2018, it is expected to grow by a further 12%.

"More and more hotels want to offer quality amenities, notably by niche brands. Also, we are increasingly expanding into markets like South America, Asia and the Middle East," said Stéphanie Thevenot, Marketing and Communication Director of the GM group, explaining GM's strong performance within a highly dynamic market.


Inside a GM group factory - DR

GM is a supplier of welcome kits mostly to hotels, but also to restaurants, gyms, airlines and cruise lines. The group is currently present in 70 countries, via agents and exclusive distributors, and it operates subsidiaries in Taiwan, Dubai, Spain and Portugal.

In terms of product range, GM has a portfolio of some thirty brands, from its own brands like Damana, "one of the most popular," said Stéphanie Thevenot, to local brands and exclusive licence contracts with names like Clarins, Yves Rocher, Nuxe, Uriage and even niche fragrance labels Atelier Cologne and Editions de Parfums Frédérique Malle, proof of some hotels' appetite for exclusive brands. Like the cosmetics market worldwide, the hotel industry too is increasingly oriented towards green products, made with natural and/or biological ingredients. 

The GM group is able to develop products from their formula to their distribution, and it operates two factories, one in the Lyon region in France and another in Portugal, for soap making. Both have been recently expanded to meet rising demand.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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