24 Sèvres, the online arm of legendary Parisian luxury retail Le Bon Marché, has unveiled a new global campaign that aims to reach a wider audience.
The campaign pokes fun at common Parisian stereotypes — that they never shave, that they are always stressed out — in an effort to dispel some of the negative associations the city has accumulated over the years. Paris is notorious for not being the friendliest city to tourists or visitors, and 24 Sèvres is looking to soften that image for a global audience.
LVMH, which owns 24 Sèvres, introduced the e-commerce platform last year to act as the online extension of Le Bon Marché — a store that has always been explicitly tied to its physical home of Paris. Everything from 24 Sèvres’ advertisements, which frequently feature Paris as a background, to its packaging which has “Paris” in bold letters under the logo, contributes to its French identity. But recently, LVMH has made more of an effort to position 24 Sèvres as a more global retailer with an eye toward competing with other multibrand luxury e-commerce hubs like Net-a-Porter, which is owned by LVMH competitor Richemont, and Farfetch, which has also made significant progress toward becoming a major online luxury marketplace.
For 24 Sèvres, a key component to expanding globally is understanding the difference between demographics. The retailer has been doing market research to determine what products tend to resonate with customers from different areas of the world. For example, in the U.S., 24 Sèvres customers tend to prefer leather goods and big-name brands more than French customers, who are more open to newer, local labels, according to data provided by 24 Sèvres to Glossy.
The combination of in-house brands like Rimowa and Louis Vuitton with non-LVMH brands like A.P.C. mirrors the approach of one of 24 Sèvres’ primary competitors Net-a-Porter, which carries a similar combination of Richemont and non-Richemont brands.
The new campaign was explicitly designed to appeal to a more global audience outside of 24 Sèvres’ home country, a spokesperson for the retailer told Glossy in an email.
Having control over the entire purchasing process is appealing for LVMH. Third-party retailers often do not share the full suite of customer data collected with the brands they work with. With 24 Sevres, LVMH can get deeper insight into the data of the customers at every step of the path to purchase since it all takes place on the group’s in-house retail platform.
“So the type of model that would enable us to do our own business on somebody else’s e-platform, philosophically, I would [be] OK with that,” said Jean-Jacques Guiony, CFO at LVMH, on the group’s earnings call for the third quarter of 2018. “The only thing is that there’s no such thing as a platform today that would suit our needs. Most platforms are wholesale platforms and not concession-based platforms. And if they are, they don’t provide access to the various data regarding the clients.”
LVMH has made something of a mission of bringing brands operating primarily in France, like Ba&sh, to a broader audience.
“LVMH has made us a global brand,” Ba&sh co-founder Sharon Krief told Glossy in September. “Opening in the U.S. had always been our dream, but you can’t enter a new market like that alone. You need experience, and you need money.”
Similarly, LVMH expanded this year’s “Les Journées Particulières,” its annual event giving consumers an inside look at some of LVMH’s brands, to the U.S., with a look into Sephora and Benefit Cosmetics.
Net-a-Porter, which totaled about $2.5 billion in revenue last year, has its revenue roughly evenly spread across markets, with Europe and the U.S. only a few points away from each other in terms of total revenue percentage. 24 Sèvres does not have publicly available revenue, but if it wants to compete with the powerhouse of Net-a-Porter for multibrand luxury e-commerce, then bolstering its global appeal is a key part of that process.