Lacoste India shifts strategy to focus on women customers
Mr. Rajesh Jain
Lacoste India, the Indian division of the premium French apparel company Lacoste, has shifted its brand strategy to focus more on women customers.
Speaking to fibre2fashion, Mr. Rajesh Jain, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lacoste India, said, “This year, 2012, Lacoste has undergone a major shift in its brand strategy on a global platform. Accordingly, Lacoste India has also shifted and dedicated its focus to its women customers, who constitute a major share in our footfalls.”
Around 40-50 percent walk-ins at Lacoste India stores are women, but they contribute much lesser percentage to the brand's total sales. It is because women customers have always associated Lacoste as a brand for the men in their lives – father, brother, friend, husband or boyfriend.
“The reason was because the sports inspired offerings for women, though a favourite, restricted the occasions that they could wear these styles,” avers Mr. Jain.
“Having understood and respecting the preferences of our women, we believed we should give them more opportunities to wear Lacoste. Hence the shift in focus, leading to creation of more innovative styles and fits by our new International Creative Director, Felipe Oleviera Baptista for our women patrons,” he reveals.
Following the change in strategy, Lacoste has introduced three new fits this season in its Polo offering for women that are more feminine, and have a flattering fall with a very supple fabric.
“All the styles are offered with different colour palates in line with new seasons' trends. The sailor neck tops, dresses with dropped armholes, softer fabrics like supple petit pique, cotton silk, and cotton viscose have been introduced into the collection.”
“The straight cut Polo shirts have become flattering, this classic style is also extended to tunic tops, rugby dresses and elegant evenings wear. Refined fabric treatments, Luxurious fabric combinations with use of silk in summer keeping the garment cool yet soft are few developments this season.”
Mr. Jain reveals, “This year we also offer an elaborated beachwear segment. In addition to swim wear, the collection also offers outer wear that is perfectly suited for an outing at the beach or at the pool. The bright overalls compliment the best holiday outing around the waters. Adding to this kind of resort wear are bright bags, straw hats and sarong style scarves to beat the heat. Thus, the entire collection has become more feminine and chic.”
In India, Lacoste has about 34 Points of Sales (POS), out of which 22 are exclusive brand outlets (EBOs), while the remaining are stores and multi-brand outlets (MBOs).
During the next three months, Lacoste aims to increase its footprint in key markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Chandigarh with large/medium format stores. “We are targeting to double our POS in three years time from 2011-2014,” informs Mr. Jain.
Talking about womenswear segment in India, he says, “With the increase in number of working women in the industry, we see a shift in aspirations and expectations of Indian women and their attitudes towards fashion. There is also a quick adaptation of trends in the market as women are more open to experimenting with different fits and designs to find their own personal style.”
“With the rising disposable income, women are also ready to spend a substantial amount for personal grooming and styling. Whether be the workplace, a casual get-together, a formal evening party, or an outing with friends; it's all about looking good and eventually feeling confident. This is the insight from where the womenswear segment derives its main cue,” he avers.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India