Lacoste Takes Aim at Women’s Market

Lacoste
A spring '15 women's style.
Courtesy photo

NEW YORK — Lacoste Footwear is planning an aggressive relaunch of its women’s collection for spring ’16.

The brand has installed a new design team and is broadening its lineup of styles to more effectively compete in the highly saturated women’s market.

The initiative comes after the label polled about 12,000 consumers via an outsource agency to gauge perception. (Lacoste Footwear is produced under license with Pentland Group LLC. )

“[We wanted] to get a feel for our consumers and hear what they are looking for and how we’re performing,” said Mary Slevin, marketing and PR director for Lacoste Footwear, who is moving into a newly created role heading women’s sales as part of the project. “What we found was that there is a huge opportunity with women’s that we hadn’t been capitalizing on thus far.”

Lacoste aims to take the collection in a fresh direction, starting with a women’s-focused team. “They’ve restructured our headquarters in the U.K., and that includes new factories and sourcing, which is something we’ve never done,” Slevin explained. “[This group] in the past has generally been [servicing] all genders.”

Catering more effectively to the brand’s core consumers is also a big focus, according to Dave Grange, president of Lacoste Footwear North America.

Styles will be grouped under three categories: sport, casual and casual elegance. Patent, suede and premium leathers will be incorporated across the roster, and price points will range from $60 for canvas looks to $250 for premium leather boots.

Lacoste will focus on expanding distribution with existing partners, including department stores such as Nordstrom, and Zappos and various independents.

Leading the charge will be Slevin, who is the first women’s territory manager in the U.S. market.

“It’s important to me that we have this kind of dedication,” Grange said. “Mary can work with our partners to build something that is absolutely specific to women’s.”

Though plans are still taking shape, Grange said Lacoste is slated to hold a number of launch events next fall in key cities like New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

“Because we have showrooms in those places, we can do cool events where we can showcase the product and spend time with potential partners,” Grange said. “There is a whole world around this.”