Diesel tweaks store design introducing more flexible omni-channel approach
Diesel is revamping its monobrand stores. After analysing the latest trends in terms of retail concepts and consumption, the Italian denim label is revising the way its stores look and operate, starting from the design introduced in the Copenhagen store last May. The Danish capital’s store will be officially inaugurated at the start of August, after the first operational tweaks.
“After analysing Diesel’s retail positioning, we discovered several essential elements. Previously, a store’s planned obsolescence occurred between six and eight years after opening. As consumer requirements and demand change rapidly, social media use increases at terrific pace, and online sales keep booming, a store’s operating life is now approximately four years, and continues to shorten,” said Diesel.
As a result, the label decided to revamp its monobrand store network, working on renovations, new openings and closures. For example, in Paris, it decided to close down the 280 m2 store located in rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, in the Marais district. According to Diesel, the closure will be offset by two new openings in the French capital before the end of the year. In France, Diesel currently operates 84 direct retail outlets, between monobrand stores and department store concessions.
“In this context, people keep demanding change, and become harder and harder to please. They expect a regular stream of novelties and a constant rotation of the collections. Diesel is taking up this gauntlet - as well as the challenge set by social media - by completely rethinking its retail approach, as was first unveiled in Copenhagen. The interior design of the Copenhagen and of future stores is ultra-dynamic and adaptable.
"Back-end operations have also been redesigned, with stock levels based on omni-channel requirements. The main features of this new approach are flexibility and the ability to modify more easily the way products are displayed in-store, depending on demand, trends and other signals; greater transparency, since part of the store’s ‘backstage’ is now in full view; and high energy, customised shop fronts, thanks to collaborations with local street artists,” said Diesel.
The new concept will be deployed by the end of the year in fifteen Diesel stores, both new and renovated ones, in Europe, the USA, Japan, China and India. Using the same approach, Diesel opened a pop-up store in Berlin last June, located on Torstrasse in the Mitte district. A store that is more than a short-term presence, since it will stay open for a year, and that showcases chiefly the label’s menswear collection, though it also features a section dedicated to womenswear. A shipping container alongside the store hosts a café for Diesel customers and fans.
With this new, diversified retail approach, Diesel is trying to react to a market that is increasingly complex. The label is dealing with the crisis that hit the whole denim sector, with the exception of Levi’s, in the last few years. In April, Diesel’s parent company, the OTB (Only The Brave) fashion group, reported a negative consolidated net income of €26 million, with a consolidated revenue of €1.439 billion, down 3.2% at constant exchange rates compared to 2017. OTB was especially affected by Diesel’s predicament in the USA, where its subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under receivership law last March, in order to restructure and relaunch the label's US business. Despite this, the group's other labels (Maison Margiela, Marni, Viktor & Rolf and Paula Cademartori) recorded favourable results, while the other companies owned by OTB (Staff International and Brave Kid) also confirmed a generalised positive trend, each of them posting revenue increases.
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