After being on the verge of stopping everything a year ago, Manu Garcia and Régis Monnerie tell us their story. They have indeed experienced decisive stages in their distribution activity in the padel business via their flagship e-commerce sites and, and their 100% store padel of Paul.

Originally, French Padel Shop et Padel XP are two sites of padel totally independent e-commerce. If they collaborated on the logistical level, they lived their lives, each on their own.

Then, like in the books, a disruptive element has come to upset the balance of the two sites. After much reflection, questioning and doubt, French Padel Shop and Padel XP decide to merge.

To tell us their story, Regis Monnerie, founder of the French site Padel XP and Manu Garcia, one of the actors of the padel French, invested in My Padel Store, French Padel Shop et Padel XP, returned to the beginnings of each site, their merger and the results of their year 2023, at the microphone of Padel Magazine.

The birth of French Padel Shop

Manu: “In the beginning, all the credit goes to Julien Pes because he was the one who set up the website French Padel Shop. The idea originally came from him, in 2019. We met along the way, with like 3e non-active partner Laurent Barthe de Castres, who was one of the precursors of the business of padel In France. During Covid, the decision was made to join forces and work together. We wanted to set up something where people could find everything en padel, mostly. The site French Padel Shop was managed within the company Sports Fame, founded by Julien in 2019.

The arrival of Padel XP

Regis: “Basically, I was a tennis player and I started on padel in 2017. , in my club in La Baule. Quickly, I became passionate about this sport and I played a lot. Previously, I worked in music and owned a musical instrument distribution company, which I sold in 2018.

I started looking for a new activity. But at the time of Covid, my plans changed. I who thought I would continue in music, during the second confinement, with the apprehension of being locked up every six months, I told myself that we had to consider things differently. I was interested in the market padel and, when I saw what had happened in Spain over the past 20 years, I said to myself that we were undoubtedly on the eve of an explosion in France and elsewhere in Europe.

I also told myself that, setting up a website in relation to Covid, maybe it was the good idea. I was a customer of French Padel Shop. I knew Julien Pes and Manu Garcia a little, and I found them super friendly, very competent, really customer-oriented. Manu quickly got wind of my project and we talked quite a bit in the months that followed, when I was setting up my project, at the beginning of 2021. Julien and Manu suggested that I work together."


Covid, a springboard element

Manu: “Covid made me think about a lot of thingss, particularly concerning the potential of the online market. It was an opportunity to be able to do something online because many stores were unfortunately closed.

During confinement, we gave people permission more easily to go and do sports, rather than going to consume. So, in the end, people wanted to go back and play padel but they did not necessarily have the opportunity to equip themselves since the stores were closed.

For me, the big springboard was Covid, but especially during the second confinement, at the end of 2020. That’s when people said to themselves “Something is happening”. There was the worry of saying “We are going to be locked up every 3, 6 months…”. As a result, it clicked, particularly for online sales."

It was also at this time that Régis decided to get into the business of padel.

The start of the collaboration between the two sites

Regis: "Julien and Manu suggested that I share various things, especially logistics, as we were two small companies launching. At the time, they were in the process of starting a larger stock in a new warehouse in Nîmes. Quickly, I said to myself that it was a chance to be able to manage my site quietly, at home, while having the logistics managed by professionals du padel. Manu has been there for years. The fact that he is Franco-Spanish means that he has a lot of contacts in Spain. For his part, Julien was one of the best French players in padel.

I ended up with some really competent associates. Therefore, Padel XP was born in July 2021 but remaining completely independent of French Padel Shop, at least for a year and a half. We had common logistics but that’s it. We were partners but I did my own thing, like communication in particular.”

Opening of the first store

Regis: "Over time, our association was going very well. Several times, Manu and Julien told me that we needed to try to get involved in a more direct way. Especially since Manu also had My Padel Shop, which he had brought when he arrived at French's Padel Shop. We therefore had logistics that took care of three sites.

The next, very important step, before talking about merger, was the arrival of Frédéric Richeme of Pau and the opening of the French store Padel Shop Pau.

In 2022, Manu and Julien had a problem with certain brands who did not wish to deliver them because they only sold on the internet. It was therefore necessary to have a physical store to have the right to sell certain brands. For my part, I wasn't really concerned by this project.

Manu and Julien wondered where they would be able to set up their first store.

At first, they were thinking of big cities. But they ended up turning to Pau because they knew Frédéric, an essential character of the padel in Pau : long-time player, referee, known to the entire community, because the creator of the group Padel Pyrenees… So they decided to open the French store Padel Shop in Pau because there is a big community there padel. As a percentage of the population, it is perhaps the city where the most gambling is played. padel in France…

So, in November or December 2021, the store opened and it was the first 100% physical store padel in France. "


Regis: "The next step, in october 2022, it’s an event that we didn’t expect. Julien Pes, who was the instigator of everything, tells us that he wants to stop the business adventure padel, and as quickly as possible. He had thought about it during the summer and he wanted to devote himself 100% to teaching and competition, being a professor of padel in Hauts-de-Nîmes and a high-level player. The appearance business had become a bit daunting for him. In fact, he no longer wanted.

Manu and I were a little taken aback. There was even talk of stopping everything. But sales have been growing continuously since 2019 and that would have been a shame. Manu told me that he did not want to take the baby back alone. As a result, either we do it together or we stop. For my part, because I was older and had already managed a company previously, I didn't want to be on my own either. In the end, doing it in association seemed like the logical next step.”

The gathering of activities in Sports Fame

Regis: “We decided in November 2022 to bring together all our activities, and our four separate companies, into the main, original company, Sports Fame which was the parent company of French Padel Shop. We closed all the companies on the other two sites, Padel XP and My Padel Store, and that of the Pau store, to merge everything into Sports Fame. We decided to install everything in Pau. We moved our warehouse from Nîmes to Pau. The city center store also moved so that we could have a larger premises, in Lons, to the north of the city, with the store in front and the stock behind.

Manu: “Each site, despite the merger, remains independent in its identity, its communication and its visual appearance. So, each customer experience is quite different depending on the site. The goal was to be able to have a very wide panel because each site has a well-defined customer target. Each site has thus preserved its DNA.

What the sites ultimately have in common are the products. But that’s the case everywhere.

Today, we are at a point where we have websites that work very well, with customers who are mostly very happy, whether individuals in B2C (business to consumer), or professionals. Indeed, we also have a B2B (business to business) activity, including the exclusive distribution in France of the Spanish brand Starvie, a premium brand manufactured 100% in Spain.”

French padel shop padel xp regis manu fred

2023, results and forces of the French market

Regis: “In 2023, we are up 60% overall, despite the changes made, our moves and the investments in IT and personnel. Padel XP has developed a lot since its creation, which remains quite recent (2 and a half years). We were surprised by the larger curves than French Padel Shop. However, the latter has continued its uninterrupted growth for 4 years. And the store run by Fred Richeme has doubled its sales since moving from the city center to the Lons premises.

We expect similar progress in 2024. I think we will be between 50 and 60% progress. Other actors in the padel are also experiencing such impressive progression curves. We are all benefiting from a market that is exploding and we are all trying to do well.”

Manu: “Today, we can be proud to be part of the French business players padel. Foreign sites have difficulty establishing themselves in France because we all do our jobs well. We have excellent customer service, with advice, proximity, responsiveness, service, particularly after-sales. We are all priced, with a very wide choice of products, we deliver within 24/48 hours, which foreign sites cannot do. French sites are also more beautiful and more professional. The efforts of French actors in padel were paid off.

One of the particularities of the French market: we all know each other. We each work separately because we are here to work and do business. But we won't speak badly of the friend next door. We all serve the French market and we have a coherent message. Everyone has their own development strategy and we all respect each other. As all the speeches are very clear, it remains clear to the consumer.”

Sports Fame, a pioneer company in the sports business padel in France, has become, over the years and various changes, one of the pillars, with a multi-activity center focused on the distribution of all products of padel.

Gwenaelle Souyri

It was his brother who one day told him to accompany him on a track. padel, since then, Gwenaëlle has never left the court. Except when it comes to going to watch the broadcast of Padel Magazine, World Padel Tour… or Premier Padel…or the French Championships. In short, she is a fan of this sport.