[RETAIL IN ALL FORMATS] : La Redoute : the wrong way?

Bad turnover figures, recurrent rumour of spin-off by PPR group, La Redoute seems to be seeking for new energy; and yet… in the 90s this “pure player” mail-order company had already in its hands all the cross-channel selling tools :
– Adaptation to the different channels: mail, phone, Minitel, Internet
– Possible delivery / exchange of goods at home or in a classic shop
– Delivery schedule released by mail or phone
– Partnership developed with other shops to extend the numbers of places to collect goods
– Opening of classic shops “La Redoute” with a specific corner for collect / exchange of purchases
– Short delivery timing – the famous “48h Chrono” – or if not, properly stipulated …/…
Except smart-phones applications (who didn’t exist…) all the multi-channel options were effective. Then classic shops have progressively disappeared, delivery places became less common, the quality of orders given outside France is today very poor… In 2013, its sounds complicatd to figure out the brand positioning.
However, we’ve noticed recently a bunch of initiatives illustrating an interesting ability to interact with customers:
– Creation of board on Pinterest website
– Hiring stylists to present ot creat special fashion collections (Maison Rabih Kayrouz, Madame à Paris, Les Prairies de Paris…). The latest guest-star is Inès de la Fressange ; a dedicaded blog has been created « Inès la parisienne à La Redoute » under « Je me permets tout à La Redoute » base line.
Advertising strategy based on real time weather forecasts
– Relevant social networks utilisation following an inappropriate publication in their catalogue
Is now La Redoute recovering? Or is it already too late because of financial issues or irrelevant strategic choices?
Meanwhile, two elements can be already deduced :
Predicting – may be too early – the “clic & mortar” retail evolution is not enough. A brand needs to build complementary channels strategies. However, this would never balance a muddled and disseminated image, but damage the brand identification potential.
La Redoute is successively trendy and cheap and confuses customers, a probably overwhelming weakness.

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