Since the very beginning, Groupe GM has been a pioneer within the amenities industry, creating the concept of branded amenities for hotels. Today, the group is celebrating Bienvenue, their first hotel amenity brand which is now over 45 years old, and simultaneously, the first collection of cosmetic products designed in France for the hotel industry specifically.
Groupe GM’s founder Georges Marchand, self-taught and adventurous, embraced a brilliant commercial career: after having sold cars and exclusive books, he became sales director in a company specialized in artwork replication by great masters such as Renoir, Monnet and Picasso, especially for hotels.
It was through his many meetings with customers, in particular hotel managers and suppliers, as well as an excellent address book, that the idea to offer branded miniature toiletries came to him. He noticed that in 1970’s Paris, customers could only find 15g solid soaps in their hotels. At that time, the most common way to convey the image of an establishment through a product was to offer matchboxes as a welcome gift.
Groupe GM wanted its very first in-house brand to embody the elegance, style and awareness of the universal art of hospitality. Known all around the world, where it is pronounced in a multitude of accents, the French word “bienvenue” carries greater symbolic weight than its English equivalent, “welcome”. On top of that, the brand logo features a flower to represent the inviting gesture. Nowadays, millions of pieces are sold every year.
Today, Groupe GM remains a family business directed by George’s sons, Laurent and François. Groupe GM is one of the world’s top players, carrying over 40 brands including in-house ones. Working in partnership with leading, internationally renowned brands from the world of cosmetics, fashion, design, and spa since 1972, the Group is proud to serve hospitality clients in more than 80 countries.
Care About Earth Corporate Responsibility Program
Since the launch of the Bienvenue line, Groupe GM has taken great measures to ensure that they are at the forefront of the hotel amenities industry. Likewise, sustainability has remained a key focus for the company all throughout their journey, with significant efforts being put into ensuring that the ingredients and packaging of Groupe GM’s products are sourced responsibly.
To further support this cause, the Group launched the Care About Earth program in 2018. Aiming to strengthen the company’s environmental and social actions, the objective behind the program is to reduce the impact of the hospitality products on the environment.
Under the Care About Earth program, Groupe GM can tackle its environmental impact through three main pillars: the reduction of plastics from fossil fuels in its packaging, the use of responsibly sourced materials in product design and formulas, and the development of innovative large formats such as its patent pending dispenser, Ecofill.
The Ecofill dispenser is an innovative, sustainable and eco-designed product. It is not only eco-friendly and refillable, but also traceable and a clean, safe and easy solution with a reduced environmental impact.
Ecofill is refillable thanks to sealed, single use pouches of 400 ml in capacity. These ensure minimal packaging as they are made of only 8 g of recyclable plastic and guarantee fully traceable cosmetics.
As part of the Care About Earth program, more than 85% of Groupe GM’s amenity lines have already been replaced with plant-based or recycled plastics. The Bienvenue line is eco-designed and fully consistent with the program. The products are made with recycled or plant-based plastic from sugarcane residues that are sourced exclusively from sustainable farms and responsible suppliers.
Groupe GM Worldwide Network
With a worldwide distribution network of 25 exclusive agents in over 80 countries, Groupe GM showcases their products in over 7,000 establishments. Most are high-end locations, with examples including palaces, independent boutique hotels or members of major prestigious global chains such as Mandarin Oriental, Accor, Louvre Hotels Group, InterContinental Hotels Group and Four Seasons, with brands including Guerlain, Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Atelier Cologne, Codage, La Compagnie de Provence and Le Petit Prince. The amenity products are also offered on cruises and by several airlines. In the background, there is growing demand for use in health facilities, such as luxury clinics.
Recently, the Group completed a major expansion into the US, one of the largest hospitality markets in the world, opening a new warehouse and base of operations in Hallandale, Florida. This step paves the way for the major investment planned into the US market in the coming years.
Groupe GM partners are based locally allowing the company to provide an impeccable, reliable and local service at the best price. Providing flexibility, speed of delivery and convenience in managing customer needs, with each Groupe GM distributor managing its supply chain locally.
For almost 50 years, Groupe GM has been at the forefront of the hospitality amenities landscape, pioneering and innovating. Today, Groupe GM is happy to pay tribute to its iconic and very first cosmetic amenity line, Bienvenue, and looks forward to expanding its portfolio in the years ahead.