Novax / Cybervitrine French Perspective

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

We have had a quick look at the two French businesses that have reputedly gone under. Here’s our very quick take on it…

Both of them appear to be what the French would call ‘ringard’ – which is effectively down-market / unsophisticated in their presentations and both were in the market before DSL came along.

Novax is/was in Bordeaux

Claimed to have 2500 Pharmacies equipped with their machines – but looked to us that it was more like sneakernet than online (CDROM updates etc). As they had a reputed 80 staff you have an instant recipe for building up a nice / unnecessary overhead (in France you can add 60% on to your wage bill as employer’s contribution to social charges) and very much like in Germany you can forget trying to fire people!!!

Cybervitrine is/was in Tours

In 2001, they claimed to have 300 Touch Screens installed mainly in estate agents (operating through the window (vitrine is of course the French word for shop window but with your schoolboy / schoolgirl French you knew that of course). It seems however that these folks were selling each for €12,000 a time

We guess that in the case of NOVAX they may have been stuck with old technology but both probably had the wrong business model, a too high cost base and we doubt if they were serious players going forward.

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