CHICAGO — Taking your business global is one of the biggest challenges retailers face in this challenging economic climate. The answer? Don’t force it, said Uwe Bald, vice president of international business at the Hamburg, Germany-based Hermes NexTec.
“The strategy is highly dependent on the products being sold,” said Bald, in an interview following the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) here this month. Hermes NexTec is a division of Otto Group and supplier of e-commerce services to fashion brands like Escada and mainstream retailers like H&M and Lands’ End. Hermes is unrelated to the luxury company of the same name. Its parent company, Hermes Group, generated revenues of$2.8 billion in 2013.
“If a known brand wants to expand internationally for a product with a high existing demand the strategy is different than for a retailer that offers commodity products for the mass market,” Bald said. “Commoditized mass market products need a brand recognition first before they can be sold successfully. If nobody knows that you exist, nobody will search for you on the Internet.”
Establishing brick and mortar stores in major cities and target markets via pop-up stores, shop-in-shops, franchise operations and traditional retail stores are proven ways to develop a brand, Bald said. Then, “sell to people that live in the countryside and smaller cities via ecommerce.”
“Fashion is an emotional product, people identify and express themselves with what they wear,” he said. “In order to successfully sell fashion online an emotional experience needs to be delivered online to engage with the customer.”
The challenges retailers face vary from market to market.
“If your product meets the demand, it will always sell independent from the economic climate, Bald said. “Different markets require a different strategy to be successful. It might make sense to focus on the markets in which the products can be successful instead of trying to sell undifferentiated to the entire world.”
Focusing on a less-saturated market, such as Eastern Europe, might be more beneficial than moving into Western Europe, which is often the first international market companies try to penetrate, he said.
Yesterday, the Parisian fashion house @azzaro_official cut the ribbon on a temeporary retrospective at the wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition, which shows the lasting influence of the brand’s founder Loris Azzaro, is titled “Azzaro, Fifty Sparkling Years” and presents 50 looks. In it’s ’70s heyday, fans of the brand included Jane Birkin, pictured here, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and more. See more photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@trinaturk and @macys Inc International Concepts line are linking up on a collection for summer — filled with accessories, swimwear and shoes. The collection will also include a Mr Turk men’s line, both of which are the designer’s first entry into a more accessibly priced area. “It’s very world-traveler, gypset-inspired,” said Turk. The Trina Turk x INC line will launch on May 15th. #wwdfashion
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge