The Mulliez family owns one of the largest retail empires in the world. From its origins in northern France, its members have launched more than 20 different retail enterprises including Auchan (supermarkets), Boulanger (electronic devices), Decathlon (sports stores), Phildar (hosiery and yarn) and many other well-known brands. With more than 700 family members currently, they have nurtured a unique business model whereby new generations receive an in-house education and incentives are provided through innovative ownership design. The case identifies the contributions of the Mulliez family that underpin the conglomerate´s successful business strategy. It also analyses the challenges facing the family and its use of special governance structures to mitigate them.
The case highlights the role of leadership, the importance of culture, and the need for control systems. After reading and analysing the case, students will be able to: 1) Evaluate the importance of family assets. 2) Analyse to what extent the family values are transferable to new generations, including new family owners and professional managers. 3) See how the family implements business and governance strategies based on its assets.
- European Competitiveness
- Best Practices
- Succession, next generation
- Education, entrepreneurship, leadership
- Governance, parallel planning, strategy, boards
- Social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
- Family office, wealth management, legacy, ownership