La Redoute will relaunch in the UK for autumn 15, following a management buyout that saw Nathalie Balla and Eric Courteille acquire the French mail order company from Kering in June last year.
The company’s brand awareness in the UK has been in decline for several years. However, this is still one of the biggest markets for La Redoute outside of France, where it was established in 1837. It celebrates its 20th year of trading in the UK this summer.
“Our prompted brand awareness is quite high but our unprompted brand awareness is a challenge,” explained marketing manager Heidi Kenyon-Smith. “For the relaunch we will be investing heavily in increasing brand awareness through a mix of TV advertising, outdoor, press and doing more on social media with things like shoppable video content. We are also planning to do some kind of experiential marketing campaign where we are out on the streets.”
She said La Redoute’s aim is to become the “go-to French fashion brand” in the UK. It currently has less than 1% of market share here, whereas the website is the most visited in France for womenswear. “It’s all to play for,” said Kenyon-Smith.
The company will look to redirect some of its traditional direct mail investment to fund the extra marketing activity, but direct mail such as catalogues will remain an important part of the business.
In the UK, 70% of La Redoute orders are now placed online compared to 85% in France, so there is also opportunity to grow ecommerce sales.
There will be no major changes to the product or the platform for the relaunch, although Kenyon-Smith said the product offer is continually evolving.
La Redoute has a team of approximately 250 people in the UK, based in Bradford, including the web team, customer services and financial services.