Cartier

PARIS — Compagnie Financière Richemont has signed up as a corporate partner to Lafayette Plug and Play, the Paris-based start-up accelerator program set up by Galeries Lafayette, adding its stable of luxury brands to the entrepreneurial pursuit.

The Swiss-based luxury group, which counts Cartier, Chloé and Montblanc among its stable of 17 brands, intends to draw on its involvement in the accelerator program in order to speed up its adjustment to digital commerce. The fast rate of shifting consumption habits has prompted companies across the retail sector to forge deeper ties with start-up ventures offering new ideas as they rethink their own models to secure future business.

“The partnership with this prestigious group once again illustrates the relevance of our model and strengthens our open innovation ecosystem, in order for us — start-ups and major companies — to transform the retail sector,” said Matthieu Caloni, strategy and transformation director at Galeries Lafayette Group.

The partnership seeks to cultivate a dialogue between the start-ups and Richemont’s labels, with the aim of drawing up innovative solutions and expanding the network of mentors and talent, according to a statement.

The Lafayette Plug and Play program, set up two years ago, counts Carrefour, Lacoste owner Maus Frères S.A. and Camaïeu among its other partners. It is on its fifth promotion, which ends on Nov. 22 with a gathering of investors and companies. Applications for the next round are due Dec. 14.

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