Ecco launches luxury store in QVB

Danish shoemaker Ecco launched a new concept store in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building last week, marking its first foray into premium retail.

While Ecco supplies the leather to highend brands, such as Louis Vuitton, it has largely been unable to attract a similar market itself.

“The Queen Victoria Building is arguably the most premium shopping precinct in Australia,” Ecco’s head of direct to consumer Jeff Karger told IRW.

“We’ve looked at it previously, we wanted to be here, and I guess this was the point that we [decided], ‘in order to make sure we come through with our strategy, it needs to be within this centre’.”

According to Karger, the main aim of the new store concept and offering is to widen the brand’s consumer demographic.

“We want to retain the customer following that we have because there is a strong sense within that demographic, but in a country that is almost 24 million people, it’s not sustainable for growth,” Karger said.

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“[Also, it’s] in order to bring ourselves into alignment with where we are globally as well. We know what our position is in China, we know how we’re positioned within Europe, and in order to do that [here] we need to be a bit more premium, and we need to be picky.”

Curated range

The premium concept store offers a more curated selection of its 400 SKUs of leather goods, from shoes to handbags and wallets. By cutting down the offering, Karger said that each product is given room to breathe.

The concept also takes direct aim at a younger demographic with a dedicated athleisure section.

“We took the data of who purchases these products in our other stores, [and] the younger consumers, the younger demographic, wants athleisure wear,” Karger said.

The brand’s QVB store is just the first of many locations that will bring Ecco’s new concept to life, according to Karger, who said he plans to expand Ecco’s store network to 40 or 50 stores.

“We know this [revised offering] works after the first few days of trade, so now it’s about picking this up and replicating that in other key centres that we’re already in, or finding centres that we’re not in as well,” Karger explained. “[By] testing and doing bits and pieces, and saying ‘this works, we’ve taken learnings from this one’, we will definitely further curate this [offering] into other centres.”

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