The 80-year-old French apparel brand Lacoste has launched Lacoste Live, its new sister brand, in Thailand to tap new business opportunities in the youth market.
Cancelloni: Thailand poised to rank third
Lacoste Live has been introduced in France and many fashion cities like New York and Tokyo before coming to Bangkok last week.
"China, South Korea and Japan are the top three markets for Lacoste in Asia-Pacific. Thailand is among our key growth engines and I hope Thailand will become the region's third largest market very soon," said Frank Cancelloni, CEO of Montaigne Hong Kong Limited, which takes care of Lacoste's business in Asia-Pacific.
Lacoste Live is a youth-focused brand with colourful designs and a slim fit. Its prices are about 10-20% lower than Lacoste's. The sister brand offers a complete product line: men and women apparel, footwear, bags and other accessories.
A perfume line may be added in the future.
Like Converse, Onitsuka, CK Jeans and Superdry, Lacoste Live targets young customers aged 18-24.
"Thailand is an important market for Lacoste because of the strong growth of middle-class customers and the bigger young population than in Europe. It's huge potential for Lacoste Live," he said.
ICC International Plc, the marketing arm for fashion products under Saha Group, is the sole distributor of Lacoste and Lacoste Live in Thailand.
Currently, the first two Lacoste Live shops in Bangkok are at Siam Centre and Siam Square. The products are also available at some department stores.
Mr Cancelloni said Lacoste Live is the first big move to help rejuvenate Lacoste's image, attract new customer groups and boost sales in light of fierce competition among international brands.
"It's the first time in our 80 years of establishment that we think about market segmentation...We want to make sure that customers can find something from Lacoste," he said.
Lacoste Live has drawn very positive feedback in Europe and Asia.
In Asia-Pacific, Lacoste Live made up 8% of the sales. The portion came mostly from new customers. This means Lacoste Live does not compete with the original Lacoste, he said.
Mr Cancelloni said he was very happy with Lacoste's sales in the region, which grew by 15-17% over the past three years.
Currently, sales of Lacoste in Asia represent 25% of the global sales. China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand are major contributors.
Sales of Lacoste in 2012 totalled 1.6 billion euros, up13% on year.
About the author
- Writer: Pitsinee Jitpleecheep
Position: Business Reporter