The post-war years were complicated for STÉARINERIE DUBOIS. Beyond the difficulties inherent in this period of economic reconstruction, the company is faced with fundamental problems: electrification marginalizes the candle as a means of lighting, the war has accelerated the transformation of French society and of his religious practices, so we sell less and less candles. Finally, competition from large international industrial stearineries has a brutal impact on “artisanal” stearineries.
André Dubois has played a prominent role for many years in the world of French stéarinerie. He could only be fully aware of all these difficulties. He therefore envisages mergers and mergers with other Stearineries facing the same difficulties.
Unfortunately, André Dubois died in 1950, at the age of 53, leaving his children (the eldest of whom was 24) and his brother Alexandre Dubois to run the business in the face of the difficulties that lay ahead.
After the death of André Dubois, Jeanne Dubois, the widow of André Dubois whom she had married in second marriage in 1917, becomes the president of the board of directors. She held this position until 1959.
To regain dynamism, multiple projects are envisaged: cutting the company into two entities (Stéarinerie and Candles), relocating the manufacture of candles in the provinces, merging with other companies (the Roussé stéarinerie in Pau is approached, a partnership with the Argenteuil candle factory is initiated).
Two new activities were created in 1957: a brand of decorative candles (LUMIJOIE) and cleaning products (Waxes and waxes APOLLON), accompanied by the filing of several patents.
But for lack of sufficient development, the Apollon sector will be closed in 1959.
The death of Alexandre Dubois in 1964 forced his children and nephews to take charge of the STÉARINERIE DUBOIS by themselves.
The Aciéries de Bonpertuis and Alexandre Dubois (1896-1964)
The management of the Bonpertuis steelworks, directed from 1920 to 1964 by Alexandre Dubois symbolizes the commitment of one of these “reforming entrepreneurs” wishing to build a new business model based entirely on participative management. In the aftermath of the war, Alexandre Dubois actively campaigned with a minority of French employers for the search for a third way between liberalism and socialism. He quickly became a central figure in contemporary christian entrepreneurs.
Alexandre Dubois was appointed managing director of the Bonpertuis steelworks in 1920, a factory bought out a few months earlier by his father, associated with a few friends.
The Bonpertuis steelworks represent the major work in the life of Alexandre Dubois. It radically transforms this enterprise into a collective project based on principles of participative management and the concept of working community. Standing out from the practices of a large part of the employers, he appears as an avant-garde entrepreneur, associating the employees with decision-making and also campaigning for an active union life.
Many economic and social studies are devoted to the avant-garde and visionary experience led by Alexandre Dubois. Xavier Hollandts, professor at Kedge Business School.
Jeanne Dubois takes over the chairmanship of the board of directors a few months before giving way to Philippe Dubois, son of Alexandre Dubois. Gérard Dubois remains CEO.
That same year, the sons-in-law of Alexandre Dubois, M. Frier and Alain Gondrand, a surgeon in Isère, brought in fresh money to allow the activity to continue.
The decision to stop development work in Montreuil, sell the land and move the factory to the provinces was also made that year. A first location is planned in Isère, but ultimately it is the site of SCOURY (a former disused distillery) in the Indre which will be retained.
After just over 100 years in Montreuil, STÉARINERIE DUBOIS is leaving its historic site for a new location.