2019 was a huge year for Sonepar. Not only did we continue our growth and digital transformation, offering more and more products and services to an increasingly diverse customer base around the world, but we also celebrated our 50th anniversary. Here’s a look at what went down…
Our 50th anniversary had many celebrations. Sonepar France hosted an internal event for the new year where Sonepar Chairman Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquettegave a speech to the guests about the history of Sonepar, and the important work done by our associates around the world. The mood was set for a year of looking back at past accomplishments, while welcoming the exciting future to come.
In April, the international festivities began, with the release of a video about our presence around the world, highlighting our goal of making life easier for our customers, and how far we've come in the past 50 years. In that time, Sonepar has grown from a single dusty warehouse in Paris to an international market leader, Powered by Difference, and employing almost 50,000 associates. Sonepar T-shirts were designed and various other goodies, so teams around the world could offer our associates some accessories to help them celebrate.
To mark our 50th year, the Group also launched its first large-scale shareholding plan. For the very first time in Sonepar’s history, 35,000 associates were given a chance to become shareholders, making them fully part of our 50-year success, and direct benefactors of the successes of the years to come. The plan was warmly received: more than 81% of the eligible associates in 42 countries accepted their shares. Here's is a video produced for the occasion by our North American brand Capital Electric.
Around the world, our teams also celebrated Sonepar’s half century. Brazil also hosted a large event showcasing investments in innovation, digital tools and branding. Awards were given out to associates for stellar service, and insights were shared at group learning sessions. There was even a dance class to round out the festivities (video below).
In Germany, the team created the Sonepar 50 Years Café on the MOVE, an event that gathered 1,800 associates and suppliers to learn about the history of the company and its successes, and how the work being done today will help shape the future of the Group for years to come. Associates in Germany learned more in a feature story in their internal magazine, “wir”, while the whole industry was able to read about the Group’s vision for the next 50 years in an interview in Elektrowirtschaft magazine with Dr. Stefan Stegemann, President Central and Nordic Europe.
In Spain, associates donned anniversary T-shirts and indulged in a fun day of team games. Later, they hosted a birthday dinner for Sonepar, with 250 people in attendance and live music. Sonepar took every opportunity to engage with customers and suppliers at exhibitions and trade fairs around the world, proudly displaying the 50th anniversary logo wherever we were, such as this suppliers’ event held in Austria. You can find images of all these celebrations, along with those in India, in the slideshow below.
A new area launched on the Sonepar.com website to showcase content created about Sonepar’s anniversary and its 50-year history. You can find all of the content right here.
So, a truly historic year for the Group, and one that built on the strength of our first 50 years. But 2020 should be even better, as we continue to amp up our digital transformation and expand the portfolio of solutions we offer to clients.
We want to thank everyone who helped us celebrate in 2019, and wish you a wonderful year to come.