September 30, 2023

LONDON — To drive its subsequent chapter of development, Lacoste is betting on greater and higher retail shops. This week, the French heritage model, finest recognized for its crocodile-logoed piqué polos, opened the doorways of a brand new 900 sq. meter flagship on London’s Regent Avenue.

It’s the second retailer to undertake the model’s new “Lacoste Area” idea, which goals to showcase a wider product providing to buyers in bigger, extra experiential areas. The splashy London retailer would be the first time Lacoste has provided buyers decisions from its full vary of product classes — together with its licensed fragrance, jewelry and watches traces — beneath one roof, stated deputy chief government Catherine Spindler.

Final yr, Lacoste debuted the brand new format in Paris with a blockbuster 1,600-square-metre location on the Champs-Élysées.

“It’s fairly new for us, as a result of normally we’ve acquired shops which are smaller,” stated Spindler. “[The new format is] the easiest way to actually be capable to categorical and to embody all of the totally different classes.”

A New York “Area” flagship opening is already slated for subsequent yr. Extra will comply with in different international cities, stated Spindler, beginning with the Asia market. The model can be pondering of staging extra seasonal pop-ups, following the success of a six-month Ibiza location final summer time. “Bodily retailing is basically again, and we expect it’s a development that may final,” Spindler stated.

The retail technique is a part of a plan to propel Lacoste, owned by Swiss holding group Maus Frères, previous €4 billion in annual revenues by 2026, stated Spindler; the resurgence of bodily retail because the finish of the pandemic has helped spur the model ahead, she stated, with gross sales hitting the €2.5 billion mark final yr, up 26 % yr on yr.

The present vogue cycle has additionally labored in its favour: the broader nostalgia development has boosted the enchantment of retro sportswear amongst Gen Z and Millennial customers, serving to Lacoste to recruit a brand new, youthful viewers, stated Spindler.

In the meantime, former inventive director Louise Trotter, who left the label in January, made good progress on elevating Lacoste’s picture throughout her four-year tenure. She additionally bolstered the model’s underpenetrated womenswear class and helped to hone a sharper inventive identification, pushing extra refined supplies and color palettes inside collections.

Going ahead, the model sees potential to additional develop its womenswear enterprise, in addition to its footwear and technical sports activities traces, beneath the steering of recent inventive design director Pelagia Kolotouros. Kolotouros, whose resume contains stints at The North Face and Adidas, will lead a brand new “collaborative studio” working with a spread of exterior designers and different creatives on a extra common foundation, Spindler stated.

The brand new retail idea, designed to higher highlight these classes, can be an essential a part of the technique to drive success. Sneakers, specifically, are entrance and centre within the London retailer, with an enormous wall show pushing its new L003 sneaker and technical tennis sneakers.

Elsewhere, there’s tons for guests to work together with. The again of the shop homes a revolving idea area, presently lined with retro arcade machines to advertise a present tie-up with Netflix and its hit “Stranger Issues” sequence. Upstairs, buyers can get their polos customised with monograms and a limited-edition crocodile emblem of their selection.

“We actually assume bodily retail is a query of expertise, and [its] capability to shock folks,” stated Spindler. “We have to hold our authenticity, however to proceed to reinvent ourselves and shock folks.”