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What should be done with products that can no longer be sold in our stores?
This has long been a preoccupation for ADEO retail brands. In addition to local solutions, a real global initiative has been set up, with solidarity projects, donations to associations and the upcoming opening of the first solidarity hardware outlet. This will ensure that our products are useful to us, to others and to the world, in accordance with ADEO’s mainspring.



For Bérénice Soudant, supply manager for useful and solidary products at ADEO, it’s difficult to say when the second life initiative truly began. “When I arrived 6 years ago, a few actions were already in place, particularly with Leroy Merlin. What we do with the team today, is to continue to organise things, to develop new solutions to make these products accessible and to bring more ADEO companies onboard, including internationally”, she explains.


The mission of the initiative she is currently leading is to gather all new, perfectly usable products that cannot, or can no longer, be sold in stores. These include samples received from our suppliers, “discontinued” items, products that are returned to us following an online purchase, items in over-stock, and end of series items. “We are constantly striving to improve stock management for these products, with the aim of creating a dedicated logistics solution in the long term”, says Bérénice Soudant.





In reality, these products have three types of second life. First of all, some of them are used by the association the « Les Bricos du Cœur » who renovate the premises of other social structures.
“Helping people who help people”, in the spirit of the credo of the association, launched in 2013 by leaders from Leroy Merlin and ADEO, the platform supplies easily deployable materials on solidarity projects, such as paint, rollers or tarpaulins.
“For this, we encourage stores to identify products that are slightly damaged but usable on these projects”, adds Bérénice.


Another significant share of the products has a second life in the form of donations to the associative network.
With almost 400 partner-organisations, that include the Restos du Cœur, local charities and non-profit nursing homes, this is a broad network and allows each type of product to be sent to where it will be most useful. Bérénice Soudant confirms: “We have introduced a questionnaire to identify the needs of each organisation, their absorption and storage capacity, and of course their contact information. This way we are able to match our donations with the needs of these structures and to ensure that the products have a real second life. We have set ourselves the goal of one million useful and solidarity products per year”.





In the fight against exclusion, led by the Emmaüs Défi network, access to housing represents a pivotal moment. Often it marks the end of a successful social support programme… but also a period of vulnerability for the people concerned. The Banque Solidaire de l’Equipement (Solidarity Materials Bank) was created in response to this reality, allowing those in need to access a store offering small items for the home that are both new and affordable.


“For us, it is of utmost importance to offer the people that we support new and sustainable products. This is key for the sustainability of the facility, but also for the dignity of the beneficiaries – they are entitled to quality items, just like everyone else”, explains Louison Marchand, Manager of the Banque Solidaire de l’Equipement for the Métropole de Lille.


“And in this, ADEO is a valuable partner, that supplies us with both useful products, such as bins (it may seem silly, but they are essential in the upkeep of the home) and decorative articles like picture frames, candles or clocks. The latter enable people to really personalise their living space… and simply to feel at home” she concludes.



Finally, the team is working on opening, in 2023, its first solidarity hardware outlet. This will complement the existing solidarity grocery shop, in order to offer a wider range of products: a “top 100” of the most useful everyday items, from screws to curtains to toilet seats, is being prepared for this. The aim is to enable the beneficiaries of this type of social commerce, which is accessible under certain conditions of income, to carry out work or do-it-yourself projects in their homes at a lesser cost.





This initiative is totally in keeping with ADEO’s DNA. Given that it concerns, in particular, ADEO products, i.e. those of our MDH Private Labels, the platform undertakes to manage their entire life cycle, and guarantees their traceability. ADEO is also part of a much broader societal movement around the circular economy: this is accelerating with the adoption this year in France of the anti-waste law for a circular economy (AGEC).


The second life of products also resonates with the theme of ‘committed leaders’ within the various retail brands. “This summer, due to the situation with Covid-19, we had hundreds of thousands of surgical masks in stock that were about to expire. By mobilising our network of partners, we were able to donate them to hospitals and nursing homes in the PACA region. It was a great source of pride for the warehouse staff concerned to see these organisations come and collect them, and to feel that they were helping professionals in the health and social care sector”, explains Bérénice Soudant.


What also makes her proud? Every item donated and reused, which she considers to be a true victory.

“I feel there is incredible commitment at ADEO, a real desire to move forward on these issues. Not once have I had to convince people – everything happened naturally. I realise how lucky I am to work as part of a group that takes solidarity seriously”, she says.



useful and solidary - redistributed

3 million


of market value


beneficiary organisations

since 2021


french ADEO companies