Garry Hogarth (Agent Provocateur): “We are already making 15% of our sales through the Internet.”
Agent Provocateur is staging a double showing in France with its new lingerie section in Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and a boutique opening in Cannes during the film festival. We sat down with the lingerie brand’s CEO Garry Hogarth to hear about his roadmap, which also includes the launch of a less expensive line, Agent by Agent Provocateur for wholesale.
FashionMag.com: You are getting into Galeries Lafayette and opening in Cannes. Why did you wait so long to set up a presence in France?
Garry Hogarth: We’ve been there for a few years [through a shop-in-shop in Printemps]. We then looked for a location in Paris near the Champs-Elysées or Avenue Montaigne, but the security deposits for companies of our size are out of reach. We then decided to tackle the United States.
FM: And now you are suddenly revving the engines in Europe?
GH: Yes, with Italy, Spain, France and Germany. In Germany, we are already in Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich. In Russia, our development is going well. In Spain, we have two. It is a step-by-step growth.
FM: What is Agent Provocateur’s potential in France?
GH: In Germany, for example, I estimate 8 to 10 stores. In France, it is more or less on the same scale. We have 72 units worldwide, including 10 concessions such as in Printemps or Harrods.
FM: Your website is only in English. How much of your business is e-commerce?
GH: We are already making 15% of our sales through the Internet. The next step could be a Chinese translation. In fact, in August we are opening in Beijing and Shanghai.
FM: You are going taking on wholesale this summer with the launch of the Agent by Agent Provocateur line.
GH: Yes. This line with some twenty styles is designed in collaboration with Monica and Penelope Cruz. The prices will be half as expensive. We are initially targeting department stores like Galeries Lafayette, La Rinascente, Saks, Bloomingdale’s or El Corte Ingles. This is a global launch with about 25 department stores and the e-commerce site has been entrusted to Net-à-Porter.
FM: For this year, besides France with Cannes, how many units will you add to your network?
GH: We are aiming for 15 to 20 openings with Atlanta, Toronto, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The largest store is the one on Madison Ave. in New York, 200 square meters. But the average one is around 70 square meters. Ultimately, for the fiscal year 2012/2013 ending in March, we will have 11% growth compared to 6% for the previous year. [For fiscal year 2011/2012, Agent Provocateur’s sales jumped 18% to 31.4 million pounds or 47.8 million dollars.]
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