Ruth Chapman and Tom Chapman

LESSONS IN FRENCH: is crossing the Channel, with plans to serve its French customers in their own language. The British retailer will today launch a dedicated French web site along with accompanying mobile apps, a print magazine and a stylist team that will be on call for customers every day, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The site is also offering next-day delivery.

The retailer, which began as a single brick-and-mortar store in London 30 years ago, now stocks more than 400 labels and delivers to 175 countries. It’s an omnichannel operation with a network of brick-and-mortar stores around London and a private shopping townhouse in Marylebone, not far from Oxford Street.

The launch will be followed by a series of initiatives in France, including support of the ANDAM awards. As reported, Ruth Chapman, co-founder and executive co-chairman of, will present the First Collections Prize to the winner, and will help them to define and implement their digital and communications strategy.

The team at will also meet with the Fashion Award finalists to provide digital and commercial advice, and the retailer will provide them with a window on its web site.

In Paris, will also present its seasonal edit in a space meant to capture the spirit of the private shopping townhouse in London. It will also host events, seminars and installations that will be open to the public.

“France is already a successful trading market, so it seemed a natural step to launch a full French e-commerce experience,” said Ulric Jerome, chief executive officer of “We wanted to provide the best level of customer experience for our French customers and to build upon the successes in this territory. Our French customers will benefit from a dedicated stylist team and a next-day delivery service. We will also take this opportunity to launch our print magazine The Style Report.”

The launch of the French site comes as the retailer announced that sales in the six weeks to Jan. 8 were up 82 percent year-on-year, with 95 percent of revenue coming from online in the period. It said 50 percent of sales were made via mobile phone, and 77 percent of orders came from outside the U.K.

As reported, in December began offering on-demand 90-minute delivery in London. Jerome explained the move to mobile and app has been a driving engine of the company’s growth. “We’ve invested significantly in technology to improve the customer experience, and that investment has seen consequent industry-leading growth,” he said.

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