Lacoste opens its first flagship at the Champs Elysees

Lacoste lovers don’t just look at Roland-Garros where Djokovic, the crocodile brand ambassador, rubs shoulders with the Christmas bull. They will also turn their heads more and more often to the Champs Elysées where Lacoste has inaugurated the first flagship of its store fleet.

At 50 Avenue, on the site of the old Gaumont cinema, in a building owned by the Seydoux controlled by the cinema giant, the point of sale is 1,600 square meters and has 9,500 rooms ranging from sports (tennis, golf, fitness) at the traditional piqué polo, which includes ready-to-wear collections for women, men and children, shoes, leather goods and licenses for watches, glasses and perfumes.

Restart licenses

Covid-19 halved attendance on the world’s most beautiful avenue between March 2020 and March 2021. But foreign tourists, mostly Americans, have returned. Only the Chinese are missing. And the great avenue of Paris has hosted for many years many great brands. Nike and Apple have settled. Adidas has been there for a long time. Before the crisis, there were 100 million walkers a year in the “Champs”, including 30 million tourists. Since then, the “yellow vests” and the pandemic have bruised the artery, but the time has come for rebirth.

A few days ago, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, launched an extensive renovation project, the first phase of which, to be carried out before the 2024 Olympic Games, will benefit from a endowment of 31 million euros.

The directors of the tennis-born brand, which belongs to the Swiss group MF Brands (the Maus brothers), do not feel divided between the tradition of good manners and the youth of the suburbs who have adopted the crocodile and frequent the Camps. The Elysées. “I am proud that young people are wearing Lacoste. This reinforces my idea of ​​offering pieces that transcend generations and are made to last “, sums up the general manager, the Frenchman Thierry Guibert.

The obstacle to reaching the € 4 billion turnover target in 2027 was hidden elsewhere. “We were able to open this ‘flagship’ because we took ownership of our footwear, leather goods and underwear licenses,” explains the manager.

The opening of the flagship store responds mainly to the development of online sales. Lacoste achieves 30% of its turnover (2 billion euros in 2021) online. Showcases in the heart of world-famous metropolises advertise brands. Following the Champs Elysees in Paris, Lacoste will move to London on Regent Street in February on about 1,000 square meters. Shanghai will continue, the director general added. A store has already opened in New York in 2021.

develop the woman

Lacoste has 1,100 stores worldwide (including 90 in France) plus 300 franchise outlets. “We do not intend to develop our park. The growth of online sales leads us rather to a slight reduction in the network “, says Thierry Guibert.

The brand, created by René Lacoste in 1933, overcame the health crisis without any problems. Sales fell by 12% in 2020 and then increased by 18% in 2021 with a final gain of 3% compared to 2019. The geographical balance was not altered. The United States is still the leading country for crocodiles (19% of activity), just ahead of France (18%). Europe, without France, accounts for 33% of sales and Asia more than 25%.

Thierry Guibert predicts a turnover of 2.4 billion by the end of 2022. For him, shoes are a lever for growth. It accounts for 20% of sales, a rate that has already doubled. While textiles remain the bulk of the business (70%), women’s products account for only 17% of the brand’s turnover. This is another deposit. Lacoste is addressing this especially by developing its ranges of fitness and yoga products. The trend is certainly for the active woman who dresses elegantly for sports. Experts call this in English “athleisure”.

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