First the sale by physical catalog, ordering and going to the post office. That’s how the French La Redoute started in Portugal, in 1988. Decades later, selling online. Now, and when so many brands are converting over e-commerce, La Redoute takes the opposite route and opens its first physical store, in Lisbon, this Thursday. The objective is to meet the consumer who needs to see to buy, justifies Paulo Mateus Pinto, CEO of the brand in Portugal.
“We are one player digital and the e-commerce needs to be present in the experience of a store [física] where consumer satisfaction is sought, ”he declares to the PUBLIC, adding that it will sell furniture, decoration and home textiles. Clothing, footwear and accessories continue to be sold online.
For now it will be an experience in registration pop-up store, until June 2021, and will create four jobs. On António Enes street, in the Saldanha area, the 400 square meter space will mainly accommodate furniture and decoration, thinking of the private client, but also the professional, who needs to see the environments created, explains Paulo Mateus Pinto, as if “Showcase”, he adds.
“Digital needs to be on the street because it wants to accompany the consumer. In the furniture strategy, we have to be where the consumer is ”, continues the CEO, justifying that in a physical store“ the perception of risk is reduced when buying furniture ”. With the opening of the store, the brand expects to continue to grow in double digits and reinforce in the “home” segment. Paulo Mateus Pinto does not mention the investment made, saying only that it is “hundreds of thousands of euros”. “It is a differentiated investment from what has been our strategy.”
The competition is all brands of furniture and decoration, from the Swedish giant Ikea to Conforama, through Zara Home, Kinda or Loja do Gato Preto, lists Paulo Mateus Pinto. However, it safeguards that the more Mediterranean style of La Redoute is distinguished from the Nordic of Ikea, winning a different customer, namely that of hotels and, in particular, customers with second homes, beach or countryside.
Regarding the decision to open a store in the middle of a pandemic, the official admits that he hoped that, at this time, the situation would be different but that this “is not a short-term investment”. “We must continue to live, our organization must contribute to a tomorrow and we are full of hope”, he concludes.
With a history of 183 years, La Redoute was acquired two years ago by the Galerias Lafayette Group and last year its online store in Portugal won the award for best website, from Digital Economy Association (ACEPI), a prize that has already been awarded to EDP and Fnac. In previous years, it had received the award for best fashion website / app.