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Zadig & Voltaire accelerates global growth strategy and outlines ambitious sustainability goals

Lauretta Roberts
15 October 2021

Zadig & Voltaire says it plans to increase the number of its stores globally by 36%, drive digital sales to 30% of total revenue and increase its activity in China by 10-fold by 2025, as well as ensure that 100% of its products are traced and manufactured with certified key raw materials by the same date.

The vision has been set out by president Rémy Baume, who joined the French accessible luxury brand in January 2020. Baume was previously CEO at Kidiliz Group, the company behind children’s collections for Kenzo, Paul Smith and Jean-Paul Gaultier and prior to that he worked at Groupe Arnault, parent company of the LVMH Group.

Zadig & Voltaire was founded in 1997 by Thierry Gillier and today generates revenues of €350 million and operates 400 boutiques in 30 countries (digital sales are roughly 25% of revenues having been around 15% prior to Covid). The company plans to open a further 122 stores before 2025 in France and other territories, and to drive digital sales to twice the pre-Covid level reaching 30% by 2025.

Baume has said it is targeting larger, more prominently located stores that will enable the brand to demonstrate its full brand vision, as exemplified by its new store on London's South Molton Street. The Covid crisis has meant that more units with more flexible leases have become available and the brand intends to take advantage of this.

Rémy Baume

"ZADIG&VOLTAIRE stores have always been an expression of its artistic vision, thanks to numerous collaborations with renowned architects, often featuring contemporary art pieces. This expansion phase is an opportunity to further renew the brand's artistic message," he said.

The Covid crisis has also played into the brand's relaxed aesthetic, which encourages personal expression of style. This, along with an ambition to further drive sales in the key category of accessories, will also be central to the brand's growth strategy, in particular in China upon which a particular focus will be placed in the coming years.

At present Zadig & Voltaire has 16 boutiques in China and a presence on Alibaba's TMall. It has had a long-standing joint venture with IT Group in China but has now created its own company named "SÀDIGÉ", and has appointed a CEO for China. Jean Lahirle, who has been a specialist in the development of luxury retail brands in Asia for the past 25 years, has taken up the position. The aim is to rapidly expand its distribution network up to 60 retail outlets by 2025 and to increase its presence on Chinese social networks and e-commerce platforms. 

Zadig & Voltaire South Molton Street

 

"The message carried by ZADIG&VOLTAIRE, based on a more relaxed, nonchalant, and free approach to luxury, has been appreciated for the last 10 years by our Chinese consumers, very knowledgeable about France. The brand's ambition is to broaden its audience through a more noticeable communication and easier access to its collections by expanding its boutiques network and digital platforms," Baume said.

The brand has also unveiled a new sustainable strategy, entitled VoltAIRe, which is based on four key pillars: sustainable products and packaging; air quality and climate in operations; made in respect; and collective commitment. Among its commitments are a shift to 100% responsible materials for its clothing and packaging, a reduction CO2 output to be in line with Paris Agreements by 2025 and the commitment to developing a range of certified and traced products throughout the supply chain. 

TheIndustry.fashion will be featuring more on this story with further comments from Rémy Baume in the coming days.

 

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