Branded footwear retailer Schuh is to launch a French version of its website in May this year, as it looks to take its first steps into the European market.
The website, which will be the first international site for the Livingstone-based retailer, will be localised for the French market with language and euro payment options.
According to Schuh head of ecommerce Sean McKee, the decision to launch with a French site was based on a large number of transactions coming from France on the retailer’s UK site.
“We already ship to 100 countries through our site but all of our international sales, barring our Irish sales, are currently transacting in sterling through the co.uk site,” he said.
“We have seen potential in the French market and so have decided to launch the French website as a testing ground for other international sites in the future.”
Schuh has hired a number of French speaking customer service agents and customers will be directed to a local phone number on the site. The retailer is also in negotiations with a French logistics company to deliver its products in France.
“As far as possible we want to be able to give our French customers the complete Schuh experience but in a way that is tailored specifically to them,” added McKee.
McKee also confirmed that Schuh will investigate other European markets including Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands with a view to launching local version of its website in these markets, should the French launch be successful.
“The French site will give us an opportunity to experience running a site in another country and we can use the lessons learnt to look at expanding into other markets,” he said.
Schuh also launched a Collect+ service last week, allowing customers to return their products to selected corner shops giving them access to 4,500 returns points and adding to the number of multichannel options the retailer gives its customers.