Paul & Joe to speed up international expansion

French upscale fashion brand with an”affordable luxury positioning”, Paul & Joe celebrates its 20th birthday this year with an ambitious international expansion plan  Currently, the brand is present with mono-brand stores throughout 10 countries outside France, which accounts for 25% of the total turnover.

Paul & Joe announces new store openings in Europe and Asia, but also the consolidation of its lifestyle universe. New licences have thus either been launched or are being prepared this year for supplementary products that contribute to the company’s overall balance.

The international expansion will start with its second fully-owned store in London in September, but with a new dimension. “It will kind of be our European flagship, in a city where a lot is happening at the moment,” explains Jean-Michel Terrien, its managing director.

The 220 m² surface is located in the Mayfair area, on Burton Street, and will carry all of the brand’s collections: women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and the second Sister line, as well as all of the products developed under licence, covering the complete universe offered by the label founded by Sophie Mechaly.

But the other major development expected for the second-half of 2015 will take place in Asia. Several partnerships will make it possible for Paul & Joe to open monobrand stores in October. After Hong Kong, where the brand has already been tested, it will arrive in malls in Shanghai, Seoul and Taipei. In the Middle East, and also in October, the brand will open its second franchise after Dubai in Abu Dhabi.

The Chinese partnership is even more ambitious, including 20 openings within three years, plus a vast development plan for another chain with its beauty licence. So while the goal of retail is to develop, wholesale still represents 70% of the brand’s revenue and is still the subject of an active strategy.

As for its B2B retail, Paul & Joe plans to open permanent showrooms in New York and Milan this year. To convince its international audience, Paul & Joe counts partly on its French know-how, since 60% of its ready-to-wear collections currently boast the “Made in France” label, and partly on its strong reputation for its lifestyle universe.

“The heart of our trade is obviously ready-to-wear,” says Sophie Mechaly, “but we enjoy developing other products. Our developments under licence are still minor in terms of revenue, but they are a real addition for the brand,” she specifies.

Eyewear is currently the most significant of the licences, but beauty has been seeing great results in Asia as well. There is also a home linen line and a lingerie offer since this year. A world that the brand had already experimented with itself but this time it will do so in partnership with American specialist Cosabella. A launch for SS16 that it will later complete with a new swimwear line. Finally, another product development in the line-up: perfume.

Although it does not report its financials, Paul & Joe has nevertheless announced a return to growth for 2015, after a stable year in 2014.

Paul & Joe new retail design concept