French fashion brand Ba&sh fêtes 200th store opening with new retail concept in New York
French fashion brand Ba&sh reached the symbolic landmark of 200 monobrand stores as it opened a new boutique at 256 Elizabeth Street, in New York's Nolita district, on September 21. Ba&sh, which was created by friends Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, has deployed its brand-new retail concept in the New York store, centred on conviviality and the customer experience.
The store extends over 200 square metres and, alongside the label's classic collections, it features a ‘dream closet’, from which customers can choose, and borrow free of charge for 72 hours, some of Ba&sh’s signature items. At the store’s entrance, a few French and US brands with an affinity with Ba&sh are the guest stars in a pop-up store which will remain open for four weeks. Among them, French handmade jewellery brand Atelier Paulin, which is about to open a store in New York, and Maison Plisson with its fine delicatessen range.
Ba&sh also plans to stage monthly dinners at the store, with local influencers and their friends, as well as courses ranging from French language to pastry-making and cryotherapy treatment. To make the shopping experience even more fun for families, a kids’ play area has been installed next to the fitting rooms. The store also has a photo corner and a table at the entrance, where customers can sit down and take a break.
Ba&sh is also testing two new features in the store, designed to make the customer experience even more seamless. The brand’s department in charge of digital innovation, which relocated to Ba&sh's US subsidiary, has deployed a new omni-channel strategy, via an app that combines the digital and physical shopping experience. The sales staff has at its disposal a clienteling app, to foster even more personalised shopping. These new digital tools will be subsequently deployed in all Ba&sh stores.
“We chose New York as the testing ground for our new concept, because this kind of experiential shopping goes with a highly digitalised approach. The USA are at the cutting-edge in this field. The street where we are located is also home to several digital-native brands, like Everlane,” said Ba&sh's General Manager Pierre-Arnaud Grenade.
Ba&sh is busy expanding its monobrand store network. Besides the New York store, it recently opened new boutiques in Madrid and Amsterdam (in mid-September) and Macao (two new stores in October). It also featured for the first time in Portugal, in Lisbon and Porto, via two retail corners at the El Corte Inglés department store. In Paris, Ba&sh is about to open three new stores: in rue de Charonne, at 7 boulevard des Filles-du-Calvaire in the Marais district, and at 14 rue Soufflot on the Left Bank, inside 70-square-metre premises formerly occupied by accessories brand Diwali.
Nowadays, nearly 45% of Ba&sh's 200-plus stores are to be found outside France, but when Grenade joined the company in 2015, the brand operated 60 stores, the majority of them in France. In 2017, Ba&sh opened a US subsidiary, managed by Sarah Benady, and another in Hong Kong, led by Isolde Andouard. Ba&sh plans to open another concept store, based on the New York model, in Hong Kong, followed by others in two major European capitals and on the US West Coast.
“The USA and Asia are our two major strategic priorities at the moment. We have eight stores in China, and six in Hong Kong. We have launched a partnership with T-Mall and we will introduce a new dedicated website for Hong Kong,” added Grenade. In parallel, Ba&sh recently revamped its French website, to make it more mobile-compatible.
Last year Ba&sh generated a revenue of €115 million. For 2018, it is targeting €150 million, 40% of which is generated outside France. In 2015, L Catterton (the investment fund linked to LVMH) acquired a 50% stake in the brand, whose other shareholders are the Vog group and Ba&sh’s founders.
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