Marloie: Bricolux, Ali Baba’s cave of schools

“For the start of the school year, we even call on students to strengthen our teams because our priority is to be able to provide our customers, with the basics that can be found in the pencil box, for the start of the school year.” confides Xavier Collard, who represents the third generation within this family business which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

“The company was founded by my grandfather in Marloie in 1973explains Xavier Collard.He had already done several jobs. At the time, there were no companies specializing in school supplies. He founded Bricolux to meet a demand.”

A clientele of 2,500 schools

The name Bricolux was chosen in reference to school DIY materials and the province of Luxembourg. The company then moved but always remained in Marchoises lands by settling in Gerny.

It employs a total of fifteen people. Its clientele is mainly made up of nursery and primary schools, as well as nurseries. So to provide yourself with all kinds of equipment, notebooks or games.

Its catalog has 8,000 references while approximately 2,500 schools place orders with the company on the basis of the budgets allocated to them. Individuals, even if they represent only 3-4% of turnover, can also buy it.

“The start of the school year is getting ready for us from May because we make sure to have a stock”says Xavier Collard, who takes care in particular of customer and commercial relations within the family business, even if everyone there is a bit of a jack of all trades.

The class newspaper remains the head of the gondola

In half a century, the school has evolved but the need for school materials is still there. If the classic blackboard now gives way more and more often, in class, to an interactive digital board, the basics still have their place in schoolbags.

“You always need pens, colored pencils or glue,emphasizes Xavier Collard. IThere is also still an attachment to the paper class newspaper which is still sold and which therefore has a leading place in our catalog. It hasn’t been replaced by digital like attendance records.”

But Bricolux has nevertheless adapted to the change and increase in a raw material like paper. Now the company only offers an online catalog.

“Our biggest challenge is to be able to respond to our customers within reasonable delivery times,says Xavier Collard . In this sense, a giant like Amazon could have harmed us. Since he promises delivery in 24 hours. But it’s up to us to explain to our customers that we don’t have the same means and that we offer a service. But even big e-commerce companies are starting to backtrack on how much it might cost.”

To stay in the game, the company will also build a new storage hall to have sufficient stock. Because during the school year, schools also place orders for additional equipment or games.

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