From the very beginning, GM Group has been a pioneer in the amenities industry, creating the concept of branded amenities for hotels. Today, the group celebrates Bienvenue, its first brand of hotel equipment which is now more than 45 years old and simultaneously, the first collection of cosmetic products designed in France specifically for the hotel industry.
The founder of the GM Group, Georges Marchand, self-taught and adventurous, embraced a brilliant commercial career: after selling cars and exclusive books, he became sales manager in a company specializing in the reproduction of works by great masters such as Renoir. , Monnet and Picasso, especially for hotels.
It is thanks to his many meetings with customers, in particular hoteliers and suppliers, as well as an excellent address book, that he came up with the idea of offering miniature branded toiletries. He noticed that in 1970s Paris, customers only found 15g solid soaps in their hotels. At that time, the most common way to convey the image of an establishment through a product was to offer matchboxes as a welcome gift.
Groupe GM wanted its very first house brand to embody elegance, style and awareness of the universal art of hospitality. Known all over the world, where it is pronounced with a multitude of accents, the French word “Bienvenue” has more symbolic weight than its English equivalent “Welcome”. On top of that, the brand logo features a flower to represent the inviting gesture. Nowadays, millions of pieces are sold every year.
Today, Groupe GM remains a family business run by the sons of George, Laurent and François. The GM Group is one of the world’s leading players with more than 40 brands, including house brands. Working in partnership with major internationally renowned brands in the world of cosmetics, fashion, design and spa since 1972, the Group is proud to serve hotel customers in more than 80 countries.
The Care About Earth Corporate Responsibility Program
Since the launch of the Bienvenue line, Groupe GM has taken great steps to ensure that it is at the forefront of the hotel amenities industry. Likewise, sustainability has remained a key objective for the company throughout its journey, with considerable effort being made to ensure that ingredients and packaging for GM Group products are responsibly sourced.
To further support this cause, the Group launched the Care About Earth program in 2018. Aiming to strengthen the company’s environmental and social actions, the objective of the program is to reduce the impact of hospitality products on the environment.
As part of the Care About Earth program, the GM Group can fight against its environmental impact through three main pillars: the reduction of plastics derived from fossil fuels in its packaging, the use of responsibly sourced materials in the design and product formulas and the development of innovative large formats such as its patent-pending distributor, Ecofill. The Ecofill dispenser is an innovative, sustainable and eco-designed product. It is not only eco-friendly and refillable, but also traceable and a clean, safe and easy solution with reduced environmental impact. Ecofill is refillable thanks to single-use waterproof sachets of 400 ml capacity. These guarantee minimal packaging as they are made of only 8 g of recyclable plastic and guarantee fully traceable cosmetics.
As part of the Care About Earth program, more than 85% of the GM Group’s equipment lines have already been replaced by plant-based or recycled plastics. The Welcome line is eco-designed and perfectly consistent with the program. Products are made with recycled or plant-based plastic from sugar cane residue sourced exclusively from sustainable farms and responsible suppliers.