Zadig & Voltaire keen to step up pace of Greater China store openings
The second largest market for Parisian label Zadig & Voltaire, after Europe, is the U.S., which currently accounts for 20% of the label's revenue and, since the start of the current financial year on August 1 2018, has posted a 40% growth rate. To continue to expand, the label launched in 1998 by Thierry Gillier has now set its sights on Asia, and more specifically Greater China.
“Our goal in the next five years is to operate 45 stores in the region, generating between 10% and 15% of our global revenue,” said Jean-Jacques Guével, general manager of Zadig & Voltaire.
Asia, notably Japan and South Korea, currently accounts for only 5% of Zadig & Voltaire’s sales. In Greater China, the French label operates three stores in Hong Kong, one in Macao, three in Beijing, one in Shanghai and another in Shenzhen. In March 2019, Zadig & Voltaire will open another two stores in China. The first in the country’s capital, a 109-square-metre shop inside the China World shopping mall, showcasing both menswear and womenswear. The same month, a similarly sized store, though featuring womenswear only, will be inaugurated in Shanghai, at the Galeries Lafayette Pudong branch. Then, later in the year, another store is expected to open in Hong Kong. All of these stores are operated by IT, Zadig & Voltaire’s Chinese distribution partner.
While Zadig & Voltaire set up a subsidiary in America to expand in the USA, it hasn’t yet established one in Asia, though the label isn't ruling out the possibility of doing so to manage its Greater China deployment. Meanwhile, it is putting a new focus on menswear collections, for which it has hired a designer, Samuel Zenou, who is working closely with Zadig & Voltaire's creative director Cecilia Bönström. Zadig & Voltaire’s senior management said that the label’s menswear is well-received on the American market, and could easily account for 50% of sales in Asia.
Zadig & Voltaire unveiled the fruits of its collaboration with the National Basketball Association at its Fall/ Winter 2019 show during New York Fashion Week. Models sported sweatshirts in the colours of the biggest basketball clubs, from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Los Angeles Lakers, in a celebration of American culture that should allow the label to broaden its appeal in the country.
Zadig & Voltaire operates 378 stores worldwide, of which 118 are in France. For the fiscal year ended on 31st July 2018, the label reported a revenue of €350 million.
Last spring, it asked the Rothschild bank to find potential new shareholders, since TA Associates, which owned a 30% stake in Zadig & Voltaire since 2012, is considering exiting the company. The label is still evaluating various different scenarios in relation to this operation.
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