LONDON — New retail outlets are mushrooming on Regent Street, a thoroughfare that brands are increasingly considering as a window on the world.
The last year has seen the arrival of names including J. Crew, Hackett, Longchamp, Karl Lagerfeld and Kiko Cosmetics on the street, while the latest arrivals include Lacoste and Tumi.
Lacoste has unveiled a new global retail concept at its longtime location at 233 Regent Street, not far from Oxford Circus.
The store, which spans 2,030 square feet over two floors, aims to present a more premium, lifestyle-focused face to the world, in line with the changing philosophy of the brand under new chief executive officer José Luis Duran.
“We want to show where we are headed, and transmit that we are more than a polo-driven company,” he said during a walk-through. “Our location is great, but the store was old-fashioned and only five percent of customers went up to the second floor. Yesterday, it was 35 percent.”
Duran said the aim was to showcase “a more elegant, lifestyle-driven brand” with key “global looks” on display, more leather accessories, footwear and outerwear, and 25 percent fewer products overall on display.
“Less is more: We want to tell fewer stories and make our customers’ lives easier,” said Duran, adding that he is looking to increase turnover by at least 20 percent in the newly refurbished store. He declined to give first-year sales projections.
The interior features marble, concrete, dark leather and mirrored surfaces and was designed by Philippe Phi. The company ripped out 216 square feet of the original upper floor to ensure that customers on the ground floor could actually see some of the upstairs. Lacoste also doubled the surface of the staircase.
While there is less merchandise on the shop floor, Duran said he doesn’t want Lacoste to be shy about its DNA — or its traditional strengths: Upstairs there is a marble polo bar, with colored stacks of the brand’s traditional shirts on display.
The ground floor stocks mainline men’s wear and Lacoste sport, and seasonal capsule collections such as “Maritime Flags.” Upstairs is the rainbow selection of polo shirts, women’s mainline and children’s wear.
Duran said he is not in a hurry to roll out the new concept, and sees Regent Street as a test. Stores in flagship cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Tokyo and Paris will be refurbished with the new concept, and Lacoste plans to open with it in March at the new mall at the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan.
Not far from Lacoste, at 211 Regent Street, Tumi has planted its flag with the concept by Dror Benshetrit, who also re-designed the brand’s Madison Avenue and Paris stores. The Regent Street store, which spans 2,408 square feet over two floors, is the brand’s fourth unit in the U.K.
The shopfit includes walnut finishes, polished metal fixtures and white porcelain-plank floors. The ground floor stocks men’s and women’s day bags, small accessories and travel gadgets and the new Jonathan Adler collaboration, while the upper floor houses larger travel cases and Tumi’s colored leather bags for women. The store also offers monogramming services.
“We took a holistic approach, consistent between the product, interior, design and absolutely everything that is part of the brand’s DNA,” said Benshetrit.
Jerome Griffith, Tumi’s chief executive officer, said the Regent Street location “represents a milestone of global significance. We see tremendous excitement for the Tumi brand in the local market.”