Rossignol, the French ski clothing brand and now sportswear brand has opened a Pop-Up Store with Storefront in the very chic Rue de la Paix in Paris, between Opéra and Place Vendôme.
We have asked Alessandro Locatelli, Rossignol’s CEO some questions in order to know more about the short-term strategy. Here they are.
How is Rossignol different from its competitors?
Rossignol is a historic winter sportswear brand, with a 110-year history and still strongly rooted in Grenoble, his hometown. It has actually accompanied and written the history of skiing for more than 110 years with the richest medals collection in the world, with athletes ranging from legends like Alberto Tomba, Bode Miller, Emilie Allais, to young champions like Henrik Kristoffelsen, Martin Fourcade, Carlo Janka and Christof Hinnerhofer.
Now we aim to become the favorite brand of our customers even off the slopes. The goal was to remain consistent and legitimate, respecting the DNA and the history of the brand. We started from the mountains, setting our grounds on the technical know-how of the group, to reach a contemporary collection with very precise codes. The brand has been able to combine heritage and expertise in an exclusive and contemporary formula that reinterprets the technical sports DNA in a complete wardrobe, designed perfectly for both the slopes and the streets.
What’s the current main challenge for Rossignol?
From the slopes to the streets, respecting and capitalizing the 110 years DNA. Extend the values and appeal of Rossignol’s iconic French brand into the Sport Chic Lifestyle segment. In a long-term view, any lifestyle brand must see itself as selling experience and emotion, not product.
What major criterias were considered for finding this Pop-Up Store? What was the initial brief, the strategy?
Let’s go back to the principle of coherence and DNA. We are born in the snow, it seemed natural to move our first steps in this environment, but selecting in a precise and perspective way the resorts that have a lifestyle and luxury attitude, in which we meet the appropriate target that could take us to the city. Hence, Chamonix, Megève, Crans-Montana, St Moritz, Courmayeur.
After the first 2 years, the step towards the urban environment was more explicit and conscious, hence the openings of Lyon, and the flagship store in Oslo, two international capitals that maintain an important link with winter sports. In the meantime, we have given space to franchise operations (the last Courchevel), impactful temporary stores, such as Corso Como 10, inaugurated in November. We can state that the store are platforms that express our savoir-faire and the concept itself recalls our codes, with elements linked to the mountains. We speak of grey stone and black slate, shades of untreated metal, associated with grey shades of treated wood, with the characteristic feature of the light trails, recalling the ski tracks on the snow.
Another important news is our e-commerce site, re-designed/re-launched in open from November and including all the omni-channel functions without barriers between the on and offline purchase, as well as a new flagship format (Oslo) that welcomes all products from the skis, the apparel, up to newborn e-bikes.
What’s the experience you want to create with this Pop-Up Store?
The physical retail must coexist in a rewarding way with e-commerce and be the right stage for the product. Monobrand and dedicated corners can be equally winning distribution solutions. Rossignol will focus significantly on e-commerce and will continue a roll-out of single-brand stores, while maintaining a predominating wholesale distribution.
With a sales surface of ca 70 sqm and two windows on the street, Rossignol temporary store is characterised by a new pop design concept: a space which recalls art galleries, a place which pays tribute to urban sportswear and to France through the iconic colours blue, white and red. Recalling the typical material of the Rossignol down jackets, white nylon curtains cover the internal walls and frame the blows up of the Urban Escape advertising campaign’s pictures, which see the multiple world and biathlon champion Martin Fourcade and the model Marizanne Visser as key players. The red floor, like a red carpet, accompanies the visitor inside the shop. Finally, the blue ceiling outlines the upper space and contains two light trails which, like ski trails, run parallely and cross the whole shop. The temporary store is divided into two rooms. The first one offers an accurate selection of all the products ranges: from heritage skiwear to contemporary urbanwear; with a podium dedicated to footwear, a category which is achieving relevant commercial success. The second room is dedicated to the collection of JC de Castelbajac for Rossignol. The collaboration with the pop stylist is displayed in a separate space made vibrant thanks to the combination of primary colours – blue, red and yellow –, which are the essence of the chromatic signature of the French artist.
Why Paris, and especially Rue de la Paix for a Pop-Up Store?
Paris is not only the capital of France but also of fashion. We are the French brand leader in winter sport and we must absolutely be present in Paris. The choice of Rue de la Paix, the heart of shopping of the capital, is a matter of visibility, especially in the chosen timing.
We believe in the power and impact of a physical retail store. What do you, personally, only buy offline, and could never buy online?
We believe in the Omni-channel strategy, without barriers between the on and offline purchase. Nowadays everything must be seamless; in fact, our retail offers new types of sale: StoreToDoor, allowing customers to order in store and receive the products at home with no extra costs; Click&Collect, enabling customers to order online and collect in store and Workshop, a customized service of equipment adjustment.