PARIS — In a bid to tap into the faster growing fashion markets, 24S, the multibrand Internet commerce site associated with the Bon Marché, is branching out into men’s wear.
The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned site, which has been selling women’s fashion since 2017, launches its men’s offer with 100 high-end and contemporary fashion labels, including Dior and Celine as exclusives. Other brands include Balenciaga, Givenchy, Prada, Loewe, Gucci, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Fendi, Off-White, Jacquemus and Isabel Marant. As part of the launch, it will feature 40 exclusive offers from 20 brands including Dior, Celine, Prada, Dries Van Noten, Koché, Le Gramme, APC and Ami.
“This exclusive edit, developed in collaboration with 20 of our launch brands, is representative of our overarching men’s wear buy,” said Maud Barrionuevo, global buying director for 24S.
“We knew one day, when we felt we had reached the right level of maturity, we’d launch men’s wear” on the site, said Eric Goguey, chief executive officer of 24S, which was originally launched as 24 Sèvres, in reference to the location of the Bon Marché, which is located on 24 rue de Sèvres in Paris.
The multibrand online retailer, which generates much of its business from abroad, set up local web sites in Germany and South Korea in May, after noting its popularity in those markets.
“We deliver in 100 countries around the world, but the buying experience didn’t necessarily have a local dimension — it was in French and in English,” said Goguey.
Adding the local languages adds to the site’s ability to improve the luxury experience, he explained, noting that they deliver to 60 countries and that more local sites may be in the cards.
“Obviously we will continue to develop them, because we have a strong international traction, each week we deliver in 60 countries in the world, and it’s difficult to offer a luxury experience when you don’t speak the client’s language,” he said.
“The majority of our sales come from international markets — from markets that are mature when it comes to purchasing luxury products online,” he noted.
Ian Rogers, chief digital officer of LVMH, noted that the idea is to draw on the spirit of the Left Bank institution.
“It is our multibrand format for online fashion retail…it’s a way to take the spirit of the Bon Marché and the experience of the Bon Marché to the entire world —you’ve got one store in Paris with an exemplary experience,” asserted Rogers.
Noting the department store’s reputation, he added that 24S teams seek to “deliver that level and that quality of experience but do it in a box that comes to your house in California, or South Korea, or Germany…it’s a high bar.”
The selection of products, merchandising and services are key to the business, the executives stressed, noting that all three of the stages call for human contribution.
“We talk about online, digital but those are three human-driven components,” noted Rogers.
The business was built like a start-up, starting with engineers, they explained.
“I think it’s a big differentiator for 24S than other players on the market who grew in a different way,” said Rogers.
“One of the advantages we had by starting later is…knowing what the business looked like and what was required technically,” he added.
The executive noted that he thought that this gives the platform an advantage in a market where many other retailers started selling online with little technology — and thus are not necessarily “empowered” by their platforms in the way that 24S is, with an ability to move quickly, as he described it.
He continued: “They’ve built this in a very start-up way, they haven’t overbuilt, they haven’t underbuilt, they’ve built what’s appropriate, what’s needed in a way that they can then develop on it — they didn’t just take the technology off the shelf. They did what a start-up would do, which is you pull components off the shelf and you put them together in a way that’s very modern and it’s the way that people develop Internet applications, it’s not the old-school, mainframe approach.”