Fnac, Starbucks… Brands that could well set up in the city center of Béziers

Fnac, Starbucks… Brands that could well set up in the city center of Béziers

Des locaux “intéressants” ont été ciblés pour l'implantation de grandes enseignes. Objectif : rendre attractif le centre-ville. Illustration Midi Libre

The City of Béziers is launching a trade and crafts office. On this occasion, the elected representative in charge of commerce, Sébastien Saez, explained to the municipal council that several large franchises were coveting the city center of Béziers.

Fnac, Starbucks, Amorino ice cream, Sud Express… These are all the brands cited this Monday evening by the municipal councilor responsible for commerce, Sébastien Saez. Brands looking for project leaders to set up in the city center of Béziers, he explains in detail. Questioned on this subject, the day after the council, he indeed developed: "These brands are ok, we have targeted interesting premises and negotiations are advanced with the owners. As long as nothing is signed, we can't move forward but we're off to a good start."

"A strong signal"

The elected official sees in this desire for the return of big brands the "strong signal" of& ;rsquo;a "regain". And the right time to highlight the advantages of the city center, such as lower rents than at the Polygone for example. 25 projects are underway on different commercial premises. "The franchises want to come back downtown, they contact us. Furthermore, we went to the franchise show in Paris, where we got rather positive feedback."

To continue the effort and facilitate the economic dynamism of the city center of Béziers, the City announced, Monday evening in council, to launch a Commerce and Crafts Office, in partnership with the CCI de l’ rsquo;Hérault, the tourist office and merchant associations. The community will provide financial support through a grant of 15,000 euros. This association was born "from a desire to bring everyone together, to have a voice and facilitate consultation, with the aim of energizing the center, making it more attractive and listening to future project leaders. There will be a rotating presidency between the City and the CCI." Béziers is inspired by the Sétois model. "Their trade office has had considerable effects on the vacancy of commercial premises. In 2022, they were at a 3.7% vacancy rate!"

A vacancy rate which is stagnating at 15%

In the city center of Béziers, this rate has remained at 15% since 2018. "In 2024, it was at 24&nbsp ;%, it has therefore already fallen considerably", recalls Sébastien Saez who also wishes to underline the widening of the perimeter retained by Codata (the observatory of commerce evaluating this vacancy rate) as one of the parameters explaining the stagnation. "464 premises were part of the scope in 2018 compared to 551 from 2023."Of these 551 premises, 87 are therefore vacant: 25 are the subject of a project, 31 are not available for rental due to major work to be carried out or legal proceedings in progress. "How to change the destination of these premises ?" This is also an area of ​​work for the municipality and the future Office. SAS Foncière Viaterra commerce was created with this in mind from January 2022, in order to buy unsanitary premises. "But we are at the beginning and we are not yet reaping the fruits of this work", explains the elected official. The new trade office will therefore be an additional tool. Two working meetings will take place in June to finalize its implementation and its areas of development. Robert Ménard and Sébastien Saez will sit on the board of directors.

“We're trying to play on all fronts”

Other measures have been taken. put in place by the community: the obligation to maintain premises for owners, municipal aid for signs and windows (up to &at 50 % of the amount of the work excluding taxes + 800 &euro) or community for interior works (up to 50  50% of the cost for a maximum amount of 15,000 euros). Without forgetting to mention the Biterrois franc system (1,160 million euros injected into business activities since 2021) or even checks of parking offered by merchants (which would represent 80,000 euros in 2023). "We try to play on all sides", summarizes Sébastien Saez

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