The French brand, which until now has been a staple of polo shirts, has developed a new retail concept that envisions a larger offer of footwear. This can be judged by the new design of the stores. Lacosterecently earned in a new format in Paris and London, - writes Footwearnews.
Recently, fashion brands have been very attentive to consumer requests. Retailers are changing retail concepts, presenting their stores as a kind of brand showcase, while on their sites on the Internet they seek to offer a wider product line.
The head of Lacoste, Thierry Guibert, who instructed his team to develop a new Lacoste 18 retail concept months ago, put forward a key idea - the consumer must understand that he is in the Lacoste store before he even begins to inspect the goods.
In his opinion, previously Lacoste stores did not meet this requirement.
In the new concept, stores have already appeared in Paris, London. The opening of the third point in a new format is scheduled for November in Los Angeles.
In the design of the new Lacoste stores, the emphasis is on the trademark in the form of a crocodile, which can be seen in the retail window and on the sale of polo shirts, for the stand of which there is a separate section in the store with a wide rack designed for viewing and folding clothes. This suggests that the brand does not want to break away from its roots.
A row of white metal shelves with neatly folded polo shirts also serve a decorative role. On this neat wall is a screen that broadcasts a video of models wearing Lacoste polos.
In the center of the store is a bench and a coffee table with a selection of books about the brand and a children's crocodile comic book.
Dark green accents such as the white-seamed cushions on the benches are reminiscent of the green base and white liner of a tennis court. Tennis is the favorite sport of the founder of the brand, René Lacoste.
The new Lacoste retail concept includes the appearance of a large stand with shoes in the store’s space, as the company plans to develop this category more actively.
“We want to integrate leather shoes and accessories along with textiles into all the brand’s stores,” says Giber. Until recently, the company offered a relatively small selection of shoes, and now shoes are becoming an important component of the Lacoste assortment. In the past two years, shoe sales have grown, now they occupy about a quarter of the company's turnover, previously the share of shoe sales occupied no more than 10%.
In the future, the head of Lacoste expects that shoe sales will make up about a third of the business’s turnover, as this category is interesting for young consumers.
Suitcases and travel bags for Lacoste are also an important category for development. “About 20 million Asians who travel every day are one of the key elements on which our strategy is built,” Giber said.
Other elements of the Parisian Lacoste store are a screen behind the counter displaying videos from the brand's fashion shows and historical photographs of founder René Lacoste playing tennis.
Dressing rooms in stores are designed as a luxury sports locker room - white wood here successfully combines with white metal.
The retail redesign was developed taking into account the possibility of online sales from tablets right inside the store. The presence of tablets in the store helps the company to complement its retail product line. For example, there are 40 color options for polo shirts in the line, but all colors may not be available in the 24-hour warehouse, in which case you can order a polo of the desired color online.
“For brands like ours, with small stores, this is a very useful tool,” Giber comments. In the past year, the company has been working on installing tablets in French and American stores, which today account for about 10% of Lacoste's sales.
Over the past three years, Giber worked hard to improve the distribution of the company, he closed hundreds of points of sale in the United States and acquired a distribution company in Spain.
In the short term, the strategy to reduce the number of retail outlets led to a decrease in sales, but after a year and a half it began to bear fruit - it was possible to reduce the volume of discounts offered by the retailer in the United States. The brand now sells 7 out of 10 items at full price, which is better than many other brands operating in the US market.
Lacoste's immediate plans are to redesign 100 of its stores in key markets for itself - France, the USA, Asia and other European countries, including the UK and Germany.
Today, the Lacoste chain has about 1200 stores worldwide. In the next year and a half, the company will redesign about a third of its retail outlets.
Lacoste is owned by the privately-owned Swiss group Maus Frères SA and has not disclosed financial performance.
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