Trade: “animations and advice”, the missions of Coeur de Vannes

Pascal Vandewalle is the president of Coeur de Vannes, the largest federation of merchants in the city. “Our federation federates. With the new office, we wanted to integrate the presidents of the other associations of neighborhood traders (Foch, Emile Burgault, Saint-Patern) into the board of directors and into our office in Coeur de Vannes, ”he reveals. ©News Morbihan

For years, Heart of Vannes represents downtown merchants. Pascal Vandewalle is the head of the traders’ federation. Meet.

Animations and advice for traders

In his delicatessen, Le Comptoir des 5 sens, Pascal Vandewalle is in the oven and at the mill. Behind the counter, he advises his customers but also regularly answers questions from his colleagues (170 members). This is one of the missions of the federation:

Provide advice and make the link between trade and institutions. We have an information monitoring role. We inform our merchants of the measures to follow.

A key role during the health crisis with the many measures and different protocols.

“Our goal also with Cœur de Vannes, it is the animation of the city center, to make our city center attractive (Christmas market for example) and the reception of new traders”, summarizes the president.

Vannes trade resists the health crisis

Trade in Vannes has “resisted the consequences of the health crisis rather well with an attractive city and a lower circulation of the virus than the rest of France” according to Pascal Vandewalle.

Thanks to the influx of tourists, we have managed to stay afloat. We took advantage of local, regional and French tourists. This summer, we saw the return of foreigners. The restoration had helpers. The last half of 2021 was very good. This is the observation of many traders.

The start of 2022 still seems timid with a bad vintage for the winter sales.

Continuing to Attract Downtown Customers in the Internet Age

The health crisis has accelerated the change in customers’ eating habits. “The younger generation orders a lot on the Internet”, observes Pascal Vandewalle. To follow this trend, Coeur de Vannes has redesigned its website and has been offering an online sales platform since the end of September 2021.

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It is a response to this new consumer habit. We need to be able to develop the platform and bring in more traders. The web is an asset but it takes time (photo, referencing products, etc.). We will get down to it in 2022. In summary, we must accelerate the digital transition of our merchants.

Faced with the Internet, Pascal Vandewalle promotes “rewarding” businesses in the “largest open-air shopping mall” in the city of Vénètes.

Our diversity is a strength with around 500 shops in the centre. We have quality shops (fashion, food, gastronomy, etc.) in all neighborhoods in a historic city center.

An asset that appeals to traders. Vannes has a very low commercial vacancy for an average city. The discounter Normal, BChef, Royal Donut, Hiboutique make no mistake about it and have recently settled.

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