Beatrice Lafon, European President Claire’s
26 Nov. 2012
Interview: Beatrice Lafon, European President Claire’sClaire’s, the American jewellery and accessories brand, has a network of over 3,000 stores across Europe, North America and Japan. That number is set to rise further since the brand is enjoying a renaissance courtesy of a new executive team. We spoke to Beatrice Lafon, the brand’s European President, to find out what the revamp entails.
With 30 year’s of experience, you are known in the industry as something of a brand doctor. What measures have you taken to reinvigorate Claire’s?
Since I stepped in a year ago, and was later joined by our new global CEO Jim Fielding, we have been working on what I like to describe as “a new cocktail” for Claire’s. Part of this strategy has involved modernising and refreshing the look of some stores, while we have also opened about 100 new ones. We are set to continue the retail expansion further in countries including the US, UK, France, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. Alongside the roll-out of standalone stores and concessions, we are about to launch a web shop for the European market. So far, online shopping has only been available in the US. Another important initiative is our partnership with Unicef which involves a series of different projects, the latest being a six-piece bespoke range that will be sold in all our European stores to raise money for children.
In what way has the product ranges benefited from the revamp?
The focus is still on costume jewellery, accessories and cosmetics, but the range has been edited and condensed by 20 per cent in a bid to tighten the offer. It’s by no means small though– we still offer 5000 skus in-store at any one time. Just like before, the emphasis is on fun products across many different style categories, but the look has become more fashionable and modern and the prices have come down slightly. As always, we strive to bring out new products often. This is a crucial part of our strategy, since customers visit the store 3 times a months on average.
Who is the new customer, and how old is she?
Claire’s core consumers are teens and young women, but the brand is more about an attitude than an age group; if you are a girly woman, then Claire’s will appeal to you, regardless of your age. I recently visited one of our stores in London together with Jim Fielding. We had just been discussing the fact that Claire’s really does attract women of all ages. To support our observation, a lady in her 70s emerged from the ear piercing area and went on to have a good rummage among the jewellery.
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