Armor Lux targets US and German markets
Expansion into export markets is still at the heart for Armor Lux's strategy this year. Only about 10% of the Brittany-based marine apparel brand’s sales are currently generated abroad, and the keyword in 2017 is going to be 'exports', with two priorities: Germany and the USA. In the former, Armor Lux plans to add franchised branches to its monobrand store network, while boosting the wholesale channel via a subsidiary is the name of the game in the USA.
Armor Lux has recently opened its second German monobrand store in Hamburg, with the same partner of the first. "This opening signals our intention to increase export sales this year," said Jean-Guy Le Floch, the CEO of Armor Lux. Germany is the label's main market outside France, and Armor Lux is looking for more franchising partners, in cities like Berlin and Munich.
The strategy is different in the USA. The Brittany brand opened a store in New York in 2012 and had to close it down soon afterwards, but feels the time is now right to deploy again, going the wholesale route. "The US market has become accessible once more, thanks to the current dollar/euro exchange rate, which makes us 25% cheaper than two years ago on this market," said Jean-Guy Le Floch.
Armor Lux's approach to the USA is different this time, as the label has opened a local subsidiary acting as logistics hub and distribution centre. The French brand is currently looking for a warehouse to stock the inventory needed to serve the one hundred or so retailers currently active in the country, as well as the customers of its English-language e-store.
In parallel, Armor Lux is growing its sixty-store-strong French network via franchising affiliation, having added new members in recent weeks, increasing the number of its franchised stores to ten.
Armor Lux generates a revenue of €90 million and is very optimistic for 2017, as it is expecting shortly to receive one or two bids for its workwear division. It has also relaunched the Karting ready-to-wear label, bought after it was liquidated and which the Brittany brand is distributing via about one hundred retailers for the summer 2017.
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