?Moltacte is more that an outlet chain: it is an innovative initiative of solidarity?

Sunday 5 June 2011, by Anna Perella Sas, Cristina Alarcin Cruz, Ferran Balat Navarrete, Laura Rodriguez Albi

3 inspired

A) The main facts about the activities of the company

Moltacte Outlets is the first Spanish chain of outlets including multi-brand apparel and accessories. The project, created by Miquel Isanta, ?scar Mir? and Juan Ruiz, started in 2008 and it is characterized by generating employment opportunities for people with severe mental disorders. It has currently two stores in Manresa and one in Sant Boi de Llobregat (both Catalan cities), plus a plan to expand to different cities in Catalonia (Spain).

The range of products that can be found in Moltacte Outlets includes brands such as Armani Basi, Selvatgi, Scorpion, Yerse, Jocavi and Mango. The prices offer a discount of more than 50% of the original ones.

The company?s mission is the ?labor and social integration of people with severe mental disorders. Fighting against the stigma of the mental disease by the demonstration to the society: the public attention.?

This is a business opportunity in which two needs confluence:
- The need for companies to ensure the sales channel for the surpluses generated.
- The need of territories to provide real job opportunities for people with mental disorders.
Moreover, suppliers can develop the program of corporate social responsibility in which they demonstrate the firms? social concerns in their business operations.

- SOCIAL: integrating people, changing mentalities, offering opportunities, and evaluating the firm?s impact.
- ECONOMIC: creating jobs, economic profitability (the project seeks the economic viability rather than subsidies), experience, solvency, and expanding.
- BUSINESS: creating a unique and unforgettable shopping experience, and benefiting from the advantages of the ?outlet? formula.

B) The ethical challenges this company is addressing

Moltacte is a social business, which means that although they act in order to achieve profits, this is not the main aim for the company, but a mean to reach a social purpose. This multi-brand outlet chain is involved in employing people with severe mental disorders. The company seeks to promote the visibility and the normalization of this collective. Since it is an inclusive business, their main objective is to integrate socially these people and improve their lives. Moreover, they try to change the society perception regarding these mental ills.

As a social business, Moltacte?s project is focused in economical interests. However, these economical interests are useful to achieve social interests. If the company gets profits, they can open new outlet shops and they can expand their project geographically. Hence, it leads to offer more opportunities to employ mental patients. We can consider that Moltacte faces a business model totally different to other companies? models, because they have reached a perfect equilibrium between economical and social values.
The center of Moltacte?s business model is the person. They act in order to achieve not only the highest welfare for their employees, but also for their suppliers and their customers. Their employees are socially integrated. The suppliers can sell their production surplus without costs nor risks because Moltacte incurs the possible costs for cloth deterioration or unsold clothes. Moreover, their suppliers obtain a 67% margin per sale (the 33% remaining is reached by Moltacte). And, according to the customers, they can buy clothes cheaper.

Moltacte generates a social impact. They integrate these people socially, through labor integration. They trust these people to assist their customers under manager supervision. Hence, customers can transform their prejudices regarding mental ills. Moreover, the company controls the evolution of its employees? health and their life?s quality. The company collaborates with many mental illness associations and health centers, such as AMMFEINA (Agrupaci? Catalana d?Entitats per la inserci? laboral de persones amb malaltia mental) or San Joan de D?u hospital, which help Moltacte to integrate and evaluate these people.

Thanks to all its actions and social commitment, Moltacte has gained the implication of some well-known firms, which see the opportunity to collaborate with its project as chance to demonstrate their social values. Furthermore, Moltacte?s project has been selected as one of the winners of Momentum Project by Emprendimientos Sociales, promoted by ESADE and BBVA.

C) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

As we have said, Moltacte is an ethicall firm because it employes people with SMD, which means severe mental disorder. We trust it because it’s easy to prove it: you just have to go to one of their shops and see that what they say is true. Whereas some people may think that people who suffer for severe mental disorder are going to be less productive than people without this problem, this company believes in the possibilities of giving to this people opportunities in the labor market so they hire them to make the same jobs that everyone would do in Moltacte shops. It’s not hard to find their economic results if you search them on the internet so another reason why we believe in Moltacte is because of their transparency, they are social responsible and they have nothing to hide.

Another proof that this company is ethical is that we are not the only ones who believe in their project. Caixa Catalunya has invested a lot of money in this company as a part of their labor inserting plan. They have given 450.000? to Moltacte to help them to keep inserting people with this kind of mental problems in the labor market. This shows us that Moltacte is a company that we can trust in, because we assume that Caixa Catalunya searches for the best social programs to invest.

This firm is getting benefits, they create opportunities to people who is suffering a severe mental disorder, and they try to increase the living standards of this people and of their families. All of this is real and we can go and see that it’s true, so definitely, this company makes us dream and is one of the proofs that business can be strongly related with ethics.

D) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

Moltacte is a company that is achieving its goals and it is being success. Thus, its future predictions are ambitious for the company, which wants to expand its business for continue giving new opportunities to those mentally handicapped people. The company will open two new shops the next year, apart from the current shops in Manresa. One of those shops will be opened in Sant Boi de Llobregat and the other one in Matar?, and consequently its employees will increase from 20 to 56 during this period. From our point of view, this is the most important issue to point out given the philosophy of the company based on hiring mentally handicapped people to give them new opportunities in the society. Moreover, the company predicts to have a turnover of ?798.406 the next year and its business plan is designed to double its turnover in the next two years with the goal of exceeding ?1.800.000.

The challenges exposed above are the ones the company has said, but we would like to say some other possible challenges. The company can include some new collections in its outlet, or maybe it is also possible that the company also sells some accessories as for example shoes, bags, jewelry, etc. These accessories could be sold in special shops and more employees would be hired. Moreover, the firm can invest more in marketing to become more known. In this way the demand for the products of the company will increase and more shops could be opened. Finally, one of the new allocations of those shops could be Barcelona, as it is a central point of shopping.

We think the most important point is the company does not forget its existing reason: helping mentally handicapped people. All the actions it does should be focused on this goal and just in this way the company will improve bit by bit.


Location: Manresa (Spain)

Sector: textile, clothing outlets of big brands

Official website:

Key figures:

Moltacte has 2 stores in Manresa and 1 in Sant Boi de Llobregat. It plans to open 5 new stores in the following two years (Reus, Barcelona, Pineda de Mar, Lleida and Granollers).

Its products come from 18 brands (16 are Catalan and 2 are Basque).

From a total of 29 employees, 20 of them suffer from severe mental disorders.

Nbr. visits: 1073

Nbr. inspires: 3