In 1933, René Lacoste, a French tennis legend set up a company to manufacture the logo-embroidered shirt. The champion had designed this for his own use on the tennis court. This was the first time that a logo appeared on the outside of an article of clothing – an idea which has since become extremely successful. This shirt revolutionized men’s sportswear and replaced the woven fabric, long-sleeved, starched classic shirts. Today, it continues to offer the same quality, comfort and solidity on which it built its name.
Since the very first polo was created in 1933, Lacoste relies on its authentic sportive roots to spring optimism and elegance on the world, thanks to a unique and original lifestyle for women, men and children. With a vision to be the leading player in the premium casual wear market, the Crocodile brand is today present in 120 countries through a selective distribution network. Two Lacoste items are sold every second in the world.
As an international group gathering 10,000 women and men, Lacoste offers a complete range of products: apparel, leather goods, fragrances, footwear, eyewear, home wear, watches and underwear, all of them being elaborated in the most qualitative, responsible and ethical way.
Sports and Leisure Apparel Limited (SLA), Lacoste licensee in India was incorporated in the year 1992 and is in the business of manufacturing and marketing of a wide range of men, women and children’s sports and leisure apparel and marketing of footwear, other allied items and accessories under the brand name ‘Lacoste and Lacoste L!ve’ in India.
Lacoste’s current SS 18 collection entails Modern Heritage Collection, The Paris Polo, Spring Bloom Collection, Roland Garros Collection and 85th Anniversary Re-edition Collection and more.
Talking on the collection expansion plans Rajesh Jain, Managing Director & CEO, Sports and Leisure Apparel Ltd. (Lacoste licensee in India) says, “Our FW 18 collection would tentatively be available from Aug’18 onwards and we would be unveiling fresh and exciting styles then. There are some truly revolutionary product launches in the pipeline as well. We look forward to introducing these styles and adding value to the lifestyle of our patrons.”
Looking at the retail mapping Lacoste follows a selective distribution policy which is essential to keep the exclusive positioning of the brand. The brand believes in providing a superlative experience to its customers and hence is very selective about the retail areas and the stores within that retail areas.
The distribution strategy is led by one or two flagship stores in each of the key cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, with approx. 1,200-1,500 sq.ft. boutiques in the other key retail developments. The brand has a PAN India presence across 14 states and 18 cities.
Besides Lacoste retail boutiques, the brand also has its digital flagship store (online store) in India which has certainly aided the sales in the country while offering convenience to its patrons.
Defining the Omnichannel approach Jain says, “We have partnered with Myntra (online marketplace) as well, last year and we have received a good customer response there also. We are also presently evaluating more options to enhance our Omnichannel presence.”
Lacoste retail expansion plans are clearly defined as Jain quotes, “Delhi and Mumbai being the most important markets, the brand has much deeper penetration in these markets and intends to expand further. We are keenly watching the premium developments in Tier-I and Tier-II cities both in terms of consumer demographics and psychographics and also relevant retail developments. We started entering cities near metros a couple of years back and have received a good consumer response in those cities as well. We are open to exploring store opening at any location in India where like-minded brands are present and quality infrastructure is available.”