Mapic awards 2014 comments : Fashion & footwear concepts (2/4)

UNIQLO
Comments
If no one can contest their success, some can be surprised concerning their international development : slow(?) sparing(?) … compared to proven ambitions.
But why comparing their development to other fashion retailers and if the concept is not the same? Uniqlo features :
– Basic items offered in a wide range of colours, forms, materials… creating a refine and mass market image
– Opening flagships rather than multiple stores, with grand opening presented as fashion event (here the last opening in Paris)
– Very efficient client service  in store
Why is Uniqlo a “retail concept”?
– Because of a tailor made development process
– Because of a tailor made development process- with stores network and logistic constraints – more adaptable to omni-channel retail requirements

2013 figures : 853 stores in Japan | 446 stores in 15 countries including Australia, USA, Russia… – Sources FastRetailing
More about Uniqlo here

AEROPOSTALE
Comments

Not easy to think about this “teen retailer” obviously taking his marks, closing stores and “kept on expanding even where losing their relevance” *… Why a so severe assessment?
– “Aeropostale” is a mall-based specialty retailer…” is what you can read on their Website. In an “E” and complex retail environment, with a need of multiple interaction points with clients, is it still relevant in 2014 to develop a “mall only” strategy? Very surprising…
– Targeting “teens” as client base was a deliberate statement, but also dangerous : teens, young adults … are for many reasons very unpredictable
Why is Aéropostale a “retail concept”?
– Probably because of being able to drastically change the original concept : change the client base, diversify collections…
– Because of illustrating that a footprint, a shop-front, a logo have to be enhanced

2014 figures : 914 stores in USA | 75 in Canada | a hundred in Middle East, Asia, Europe – Sources Aéropostale
* “Can teen retailers turn things around” – The Business of Fashion – 6 november 2014 – here
More about Aéropostale here

ANDRE
Comments

André is a French very popular footwear brand (Vivarte Group) ; popular, with a significant renown, but not trendy, miles away from “concept” retailing. And yet, major changes occurred :
– Created “capsule” collections with designers collaborations
– The baseline turned into “André soulier de mode depuis 1900”. “Soulier” is a dated term for “shoe” : gives tradition and also savoir-faire image.
– Openings of flagships in Paris and Aéroville shopping centre
Why is André a “retail concept”?
– Because of boosting a nice but “sleepy” brand not by just a change of logo
– Because of upgrading the products (design, quality) and the stores design without disconcerting its client base
– Because of extending the shopping experience with other brands via the “Shoeista” site : news and look-book with re-directions to other competing market places (here). I like !

2014 figures : 280 stores in France – Sources Vivarte via LSA
More about André here

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