PARIS — SMCP, the parent company of Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, said sales rose 17.7 percent in the third quarter, boosted by a favorable comparison basis and one-off calendar effects in France.
Revenues during the three months ended Sept. 31 totaled 218 million euros, representing a 20 percent increase at constant exchange rates, the company said in its first results statement since its listing on the French stock market in October.
The group confirmed its full-year financial guidance, including a sales target of around 900 million euros. However, SMCP noted that growth in Europe slowed in October following an “exceptional” September. It added that sales to date in November showed a good level of growth.
“The group’s strong third-quarter performance confirms the growth prospects of Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot. The global success of the three brands is testament to the strength of our business model combining the codes of luxury and fast fashion,” said Daniel Lalonde, chief executive officer of SMCP.
“We continue to implement our strategy based on pursuing organic growth, gaining market share in France and expanding internationally,” he added.
“We don’t have the same strategy in France as we have elsewhere, because we built our network in France and are at the beginning of building it in other countries,” Lalonde told WWD. The company’s goal is to gain market share in the country, and measures its performance against a monthly textile index from the French Fashion Institute, he explained.
“Over the past seven years it’s been a slight decline year-on-year of one to one and a half percent, so we know what’s happening overall in the French market, it’s not a growing market, in textile overall,” he added. In this context, the company seeks to gain market share in order to have positive growth.
The company has grown much more than the market over the past three years in France, he said, estimating growth at around 10 percent per year, and currently 4 percent this year.
“We continue to gain market share in France, that’s our main metric,” he said.
The company kicked off its investments in online commerce in France, for example, rebuilding websites there around four years ago.
“We really invested a lot in digital and the omnichannel in France,” he said.
The other area of growth has come from an increased emphasis on accessories, he added, noting that the focus on shoes and leather goods has helped the company’s overall growth in France.
The contemporary fashion retailer also seeks to provide advice to customers and help them mix items of clothing.
“From a pure service point-of-view, our point of difference is that we are styling guides and assistants to all our customers,” the executive added. Mirrors are strategically placed outside of fitting rooms, for example, to help prompt clients to come outside to seek assistance from salespeople.
The group enjoyed continued strong momentum overseas, driven by all three brands, with 28 net openings since June 30, bringing the total to almost 100 openings over the last year. It also opened Taiwan as a new market.
In terms of brands, sales at Sandro grew the fastest over the first nine months, up 23 percent, while Maje and Claudie Pierlot grew 8 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Lalonde attributed the swift growth at Sandro partly to bigger store openings, including the Regent Street store in London. Maje will open one on the same street next year, he added.
“We are at early stages of growth in the company, we’ve got many chapters to write,” Lalonde said of the first sales report since being listed.
“It was a very good quarter so we’re very happy with the results,” he said.