And Hong Kong is its new home.
Iconic French underwear brand has opened its flagship store in Hong Kong. Located at 16 Upper Station Street in the Sheung Wan neighborhood known for its French vibe, locals can now get their own Le Slip Francais authentic item from the brand’s first boutique in Asia.
According to Juliette Le Manchec, Le Slip Francais’ APAC Regional Manager, the company founded by an entrepreneur, Guillaume Gibault has set "general guidelines" when it comes to opening retail stores. She said their team tried to follow the same design codes but usually gave it a little twist in each space as they all have special features.
Though the brand is still young and new, Juliette said that when they started Le Slip Francais Hong Kong's retail operations at PMQ with a pop-up shop, they received an overwhelming response from the consumers. They then decided to take a permanent space to make the brand closer to the locals.
“The Tai Ping Shan Street area in Sheung Wan was our first choice. The neighborhood is really up and coming with nice cafes, restaurants, art galleries and fashion/lifestyle shops. It feels quite similar to Paris’ shopping districts – with the ability to go from a boutique, to a café and a gallery all in the same area. The location is already well exposed, but we expect this neighborhood to grow even more trendy in the next coming months and even years,” said Juliette.
But like any other International brands extending its local retail presence, Le Slip Francais Hong Kong faced different challenges as well. According to Juliette, being convinced by the spot to build the store doesn’t mean everything will go well.
“If you are convinced by the spot in question, you need to persuade the landlord to take your brand as a tenant (when it's a developer, the negotiation is not very flexible); then you need to convince the headquarters in France and you have to get the approval fast otherwise you can loose the location. If you are persuasive and lucky, like we were, you then get started with renovation and design plans,” she explained.
Juliette notes that problems will always be there when renovating a place, so it's a mix between finding the right contractor and being creative to solve these problems.
Recently, Le Slip Francais Hong Kong opened a counter at SOGO in the underwear section. In addition, the HK team is looking forward to have several collaborations with famous brands soon and they aim to open a new retail location by Q4 of 2015.
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