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La Redoute's mini catalogue lures shoppers on the move

French catalogue retailer La Redoute has launched its first handbag-sized catalogue to target 'mobile' customers, ahead of its debut on the UK high street.

At 16cm by 19cm and 770 pages, the autumn 07 book is slightly larger than A5, but contains the same products as its larger counterpart. It is the first such catalogue to be launched by the retailer and is claimed to be a first for the market.

UK managing director Olivier Gimpel said the book would initially be sent out to La Redoute's online customers, who were the most mobile, but could eventually be diffused to its remaining customer base depending on early feedback.

He added that the strategy also gave La Redoute an environmental edge because it used less paper. Like the main catalogue, the new book will be published twice a year.

Despite the launch, Gimpel said the retailer was trying to move away from its catalogue-only image, and was instead focusing on becoming multi-channel. "In 1990, none of our business was from the internet - today it is 50%," he said.

Gimpel also confirmed plans to open stores in the UK. "Our customers believe we have a strong legitimacy on the high street and we need to respond to those expectations," he added.

Last month, Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, chief executive of La Redoute's parent company Redcats, said the group would double its number of shops globally in the next three years. It has 91 stores in France.

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