Economy How La Redoute is back in the big leagues...

How La Redoute is back in the big leagues of e-commerce

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Ferrying on Quai 30, La Redoute’s new logistics site, located in Wattrelos, in the North. – The Redoubt

  • Six years after going through the turbulence of a vast social plan, the northern brand La Redoute is now on the rise in the world of online commerce.
  • It achieved 20% growth and reached a billion turnover in 2020.
  • The arrival in 2018 of a new automated logistics site has improved the competitiveness of deliveries.

The old lady brought up to date. Six years after going through the turbulence of a vast social plan, the northern brand La Redoute is on the rise: 20% growth and more than one billion business volumes in 2020. The company claims one million new customers and plans to expand strongly internationally.

This success may be surprising, if we forget that the brand, born 180 years ago, has always been at the forefront of e-commerce, long before Amazon. In 2014, when it separated from a third of its workforce (nearly 1,200 job cuts), La Redoute already achieves 80% of its activity on the Web and is one of the large e-commerce sites.

End of the golden age of the catalog

Except that the competition is more and more pressing. Consumption is changing. It is the end of the golden age of the catalog and of traditional distance selling. “Having a successful website is not enough to make the transition to e-commerce. La Redoute was losing ground. Logistics and the back office were not adapted to digital, ”recalls Nathalie Balla, co-president of La Redoute and actor in the takeover of the company in 2014.

It was necessary to get out of the seasonal logic of the sacrosanct catalog, “a backbone which prevented the flexibility of e-commerce because of storage”, confides a former logistics manager to 20 Minutes. For Nathalie Balla, the company should also “keep its strong emotional bond with customers by relying on its own collections”. Which own collections still represent 70% of turnover. “This is one of the reasons for today’s success,” notes the co-chair. We have a real specialization which has strongly repositioned itself on women’s and children’s ready-to-wear and on home decoration. “

Modernization of the logistics site

But nothing would have been possible without modernization of logistics. The Martinoire site in Wattrelos, near Tourcoing, commissioned in the early 1970s, had enabled a revolution: the “48 hours stopwatch”. In 2018, it was abandoned to see growing, on the sidewalk opposite, a modern center called Quai 30.

Part of the logistics site of La Redoute, in Wattrelos, near Tourcoing, in the North.
Part of the logistics site of La Redoute, in Wattrelos, near Tourcoing, in the North. – La Redoute

“Before, the man went to look for the goods, now it is she who comes to him, summarizes Nathalie Balla. To finalize a package, we now touch the goods 5 times instead of 15 times previously. Everything is automated and the time saver ensures delivery within 24 hours, as customers demand now. “

This profound transformation is accompanied by an opening of capital to employees in 2015. And obviously, investments are paying to the point that the company is also developing internationally (30% of turnover, according to its co-president) with six subsidiaries in Belgium, of course, but also in Portugal, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain and Russia. The year 2020 saw the opening in the Netherlands and Germany. Austria and Ireland are due to follow in 2021.

A sign of renewed confidence, La Redoute is launching a new advertising campaign with the media. First broadcast, Friday, during Koh-Lanta.



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