Joffrey Gilant, the Managing Director ofMind Padel The shop, returns for us to the story of Esprit Padel Shop as well as market items padel.

An idea that dated from 2019

It must be said that it has always made me enjoy accompanying the players of padel in their purchases of equipment padel. When I worked at the club (Esprit Padel), several times a day I advised and guided the players so that they made the best possible choice of racket. 

Despite this advice, we realized that some players were returning to the club with racquets that they had purchased online, for two main reasons, the price and the range of choice. 

We therefore tried to expand the range in order to offer a wider range of products. But we quickly realized that we would never have the same depth of range as an online store and that we could never compete with them on price. 

Paradoxically, customers were not necessarily satisfied with the service provided by these online sites, often foreign, with logistics, customer service that was not very smooth and after-sales service was uncertain. 

This is where the idea of ​​setting up an online site was born. It was in 2019, but with the explosion of club activity, we had little time to really set up this kind of project. 

Then Covid arrived... and the idea matured thanks to discussions with two other club managers (David and Charles) who also wanted to set up an online store. We therefore took the time to think about the project to create something that really resembled us, with the advantage of having pooled our brands and our products in order to have a slightly more extensive offer from the start.

Focus on customer experience

At the beginning, we struggled with sites that offered hundreds of racket references, thousands of items of clothing, accessories, etc. It was therefore necessary to differentiate ourselves in another way.

We focused on the customer experience from the start by trying to reproduce the same experience online as at the club. And I think that's what players from all over France liked. This translated from the first hour into personalized remote advice based on the player's needs, rapid order processing and smooth after-sales service, especially in French. 

And I think that all these factors have allowed us to grow and expand our catalog little by little in order to arrive at an offer size that no longer has anything to envy of the biggest global players.

“The Comparator”

For those who are not familiar with this tool, I will introduce it to you in a few words. We have created and developed a racket comparator that allows players to compare several rackets at a glance: EL COMPARATOR! 

For this we have rated all our rackets from 1 to 100 on their 6 main criteria:

  • Engime
  • Control
  • Comfort
  • Spin
  • Tolerance
  • maneuverability 

Each racket therefore has six notes which are displayed in the form of a radar diagram. And thanks to the search bar found just above the diagram, you can choose any racket in order to compare it with the one you have in front of you. 

The idea now is to improve it so that it is even more intuitive and ergonomic, but one thing is certain: it pleases our players who use it!

This tool meets a real need for the player who is hesitating between several rackets. But for those who begin padel and who arrives on an online store with hundreds of racket references, it is always quite complicated for him to make a pre-selection of racket so that he can choose between a few rackets. That's why we're thinking about a way to address this issue. I hope to be able to talk to you about it soon!

A strong presence on social networks

I launched my YouTube channel, my Instagram account and even my TikTok account a few months ago! 

The idea behind this is to share the Esprit adventure as much as possible Padel Shop with enthusiasts padel. We therefore find videos in vlog format like our “Black Friday” video where we took a camera with us during our biggest day of the year, in order to show everyone how the activity is going within 'Spirit Padel Shop. This allows customers to become involved in the daily life of the team by discovering the faces of people with whom they might have interacted by email, message or telephone. 

But we mainly find advice videos on different themes. padel such as equipment, tactics, technique, etc. 

In particular, I launched my social networks because I found that there was a lack of educational content around padel In France. That's why I decided to do it myself to share maximum value. In my opinion, it is a good way to give back a little of everything that the padel over the last six years, and also an interesting way to communicate around Esprit Padel Shop.

From a personal point of view, it was a real change and a big challenge for me! I'm basically an introvert, and speaking in front of a camera wasn't really easy, especially when we had to film scenes at the club in front of players or even in front of my collaborators (laughs).

But hey, it's always nice to learn new things, it's a bit like a new project in its own right for me! 

And then I'm pretty well supported in this new adventure, Paul, with whom I work on this video project, helps me a lot on a daily basis. 

Physical stores will always have their place

Online purchasing has become more widespread in recent years, more and more consumers have become accustomed to making their purchases online, me first and foremost. For example, I no longer go to the supermarket, I order online and then pick up my groceries at the drive-thru. 

Buying online is generally more convenient and saves us time, especially in a world where everything tends to move faster. Players like Amazon have driven the market towards ever faster service and logistics, making online shopping easier. 

But I still think that physical stores will always have their place. In fact, some people will always want to go to the store in order to be able to see, touch the products and then leave with them. That's how it is, and I don't think it will change. There's something for everyone, and that's great! 

As for the padel, we see some shops flourishing in the region and it's nice to see because I think that we need them to support the development of the padel in France. 

Physical store vs online store

For now, I am lucky to know both because before setting up Esprit Padel Shop, I worked within Esprit Padel where there is a small physical store. 

And clearly the big advantage of a physics point of sale is being able to show, have players touch and even try the equipment before selling it. And from experience, it's always easier to sell a racket after having it tested than remotely. 

The advantage of an online store compared to a physical store lies in its catalog. Indeed, we offer a wide choice of equipment that a physical store will never be able to have. Today we have around 6000 product references on our site, it would take a 1000 m2 store to fit them all, and even more (laughs)!

The prices are often more advantageous there too, which is not negligible especially when you know the price of the equipment. padel.

Take it step by step

Mind Padel Shop is doing well with triple-digit growth every year. We have managed to establish ourselves on the French market as a leader with a market share estimated at around 25%. That is to say that one racket in four is purchased on Esprit Padel Shop. 

It's a market where margins are quite low, so we are obliged to produce volume in order to continue to develop in a very competitive world. Indeed, many people see the market for padel like the new Eldorado where you can earn a lot of money quickly and easily, but this is not the case especially if you have long-term goals. Many new players are starting out by trying to stand out from the crowd with very aggressive prices, but this is not a good long-term strategy, as some have experienced. For our part, our objective is to be as attractive as possible for the consumer, this means providing a different service, a competitive price and top-notch after-sales service so that our customers are delighted to buy from ! 

Concerning our objectives, we look at what is happening in other European countries and obviously when we see the development of padel in certain countries, it gives us ideas and desires for expansion. We're thinking about it but we don't want to rush, that's why we're taking it step by step for the moment. In any case we will keep you informed on our social networks and here on Padel Mag!

Xan is a fan of padel. But also rugby! And his posts are just as punchy. Physical trainer of several padel, he unearths atypical posts or deals with topical subjects. It also gives you some tips to develop your physique for the padel. Clearly, he imposes his offensive style as on the field of padel !