‘Sauvage Poésie’ is an appellation that must intrigue strollers in the streets of Trouville-sur-Mer. In recent days, a new concept store bringing together fashion, beauty, decoration and food products has just opened its doors under this enigmatic name on Boulevard Fernand Moureaux: this is a format designed by the teams of the men’s and women’s fashion brand Burton of London, taken over last November by Thierry Le Guénic. A multibrand store with test value, which will be able to extend its web widely in France if success is met.
‘Sauvage Poésie’ has set up in lieu of a Burton of London store, which has nearly 125 units in France. “Our observation is that the fashion retail model must be renewed: traffic has been declining for ten years, and, even if we made better collections, footfall and transformation would continue to decline. The brand, including the clientele is aging, has very strong assets: its stores of 250 to 400 square meters very well located in the city center “, explains Anne-Laure Couplet, Managing Director of Burton of London since 2019, who has partnered with Thierry Le Guénic to take over the chain previously belonging to the Omnium group. “We have to create value in terms of the offer and the basket, and our intention with ‘Sauvage Poésie’ is to offer a premium, lifestyle and responsible concept store”.
About thirty openings planned
Riding on a societal trend of ‘back to green’ in particular stemming from the health crisis, the format hopes to attract Parisians and inhabitants of metropolitan areas who choose to settle in provincial towns, where most of the points of sale of the chain rather known for its formal fashion. Because the objective, if the trial is transformed and if the cash flow allows it, is to quickly convert around thirty Burton of London stores under the ‘Sauvage Poésie’ banner.
An internal team is dedicated to curating the offer, focused on “good vibes” products. On the fashion side, we find clothes signed Burton of London (but only from the more casual collection), silk dresses from the Aimée Private Collection label, Ellozze jumpsuits, and Faguo or Pataugas shoes. In the beauty department, the organic skincare brand Kadalys was selected, as were the soaps, scents and candles made in France by Rose et Marius.
On the cultural side, a partnership has been signed with the publisher Phaidon. The idea is also to forge local commercial relations: in Trouville, the shop offers coffee from a local roaster and ice cream from Deauvillaise Martine Lambert. The assortment of ‘Sauvage Poésie’ – a name that must evoke both a bohemian / romantic side and a more raw aspect – will evolve over the seasons.
This concept is an opportunity for Thierry Le Guénic to market the range of brands that the manager has bought in recent years, namely Habitat decor, Lejaby lingerie and Rasurel swimsuits. But the starting point “was above all not to say to ourselves ‘how do we box the brands taken over by Thierry Le Guénic?’, Emphasizes Anne-Laure Couplet. We first wondered which brands could enter a premium store. and lifestyle, with the primary idea of saving the Burton stores, not of feeding the shareholder “.
Commercially, it is also a new mode of operation to be understood. ‘Sauvage Poésie’ has opted for the concession model, and therefore does not own the stock of guest brands. “We made the choice to change our economic model, and to invest in a new concept. Faced with the retail crisis, we could have closed 50 stores, but we preferred to make a daring bet”, affirms the one who also manages the Paule Ka label, also passed under the bosom of Thierry le Guénic last February. The products for the home signed Habitat have also met with great success since the opening, in a locality where decoration is not very present in the heart of the city.
Stop discounts at all costs, the concept, with its more upscale positioning, will not run promotions outside of sales. “We have to get out of this negative equation. We are going to sell less, but better, with an average basket that we hope will be higher,” predicts Anne-Laure Couplet. While the pooling of points of sale is increasing, this new proposition in the fashion retail landscape will undoubtedly be scrutinized by professionals in the sector.
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