Printemps CEO outlines e-commerce vision

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Printemps chairman and chief executive officer, Paolo de Cesare, declared that following the acquisition of e-commerce site Place des Tendances, online sales are set to generate at least 10 per cent of overall sales within three to four years.

The department store boss said: “We believe the French market is at a tipping point.

“Customers want to have an experienced online, and in a physical store”.

Printemps made headway with its e-commerce operation last month when it acquired Places des Tendances from media company TF1 Group. With the site selling from a portfolio of 200 contemporary and high street brands, it is no wonder that De Cesare believes the site will be the company’s main driver of online sales.

Furthermore, more than half of Place des Tendances fashion range is available on the third and fourth floors of Printemps’ Boulevard Haussmann flagship, easing the transition considerably.

According to the French Fashion Institute, fashion sales have taken a sharp 14.4 per cent decline since 2007 – exacerbated by online sales growth and a reduction in the amount of bricks-and-mortar stores on the high street, which were down by almost a quarter during the same period.

This contrasts greatly with statistics for online fashion sales, which roughly account for 12 to 13 per cent of all fashion sales during the year.

While the French are clearly migrating towards making transactions online, the UK remains by far and away the most tech-savvy nation when it comes to e-commerce, with some 18.3 per cent of all retail spend – minus food – coming from e-commerce.

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