With Channel’s core strategy revolving around the exclusivity of its products its digital initiative is likely to differ from that of its peers, including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, who prefer growth through sales, online and offline.
On Monday, Channel, a top French house of haute couture, stated it has taken a minority stake in Farfetch, a London-based online retailer as a strategic means to develop its digital services including chats to connect its store assistants to its clients.
Famous for its quilted leather handbags and for its tweeds, privately-owned Chanel has been an outlier in the industry’s push to for e-commerce.
As per Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s fashion president, although the firm will not sell its wares through Farfetch it would however collaborate with the platform on digital innovations linked to customer services.
This initiative could include developing smartphone apps which allow customers to flag their sizes and preference online before entering their store; this should enable Channel’s assistants to be pre-informed about customer requirement or help them locate an item spotted in a magazine or a media publication, said Pavlovsky.
“This is about how to enrich our relationship with our customers,” said Pavlovsky while adding that Chanel was not trying to take a “Big Brother” approach of tracking clients but giving those who wished it more tailor-made assistance.
Pavlovsky did not divulge any financial details on the tie-up.
Incidentally, Channel already offers some digital support to select clients and wants to widen the availability of this facility.
With close to 200 brick-and-mortar stores, Channel plans on starting new services in 2018.