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Commitments for success tomorrow—lessons from La Redoute

Anne Etienne-Reboul




Commitments for success tomorrowlessons from La Redoute

A meaningful CSR strategy; a commitment to protect the environment; support for young designers; regional investment specifically toward women and young people; employee-shareholders and more proximity to the customers—all without losing sight of the priority to continue, and accelerate, digital and physical transformations to ensure longevity. This is the new model for success. It is also the model La Redoute has chosen in order to be economically competitive and particularly innovative, and to remain a market leader.

For 180 years, La Redoute has stood for constant reinvention. During an economic downturn in 2014, the legendary mail-order company of Roubaix was sold back to its executives, Nathalie Balla and Eric Courteille, by holding company Kering for a symbolic amount of €1. Together, Balla and Courteille redefined the company’s raison d’être: to subscribe to impactful, sustainable actions, to support social changes, and to imagine new ways of making fashion and creative design accessible and responsible. Commitment, authenticity, transparency, and inclusiveness are at the heart of La Redoute’s DNA.

Because Peclers Paris has shared values with La Redoute, we have chosen to work with the company to help them reach their commitments, achieve their altruistic goals, and expand their impact.  

Here are four ways La Redoute has implemented best practices to positively impact its future position:

1. Eco-responsible commitment

Action: Fully invested in a CSR strategy, La Redoute expanded its commitment in 2017 by joining the Global Compact, a voluntary international initiative for sustainable development launched by the United Nations. Since then, its involvement in this program includes upholding practices of professional integration, equal opportunity, and the limitation of CO2 emissionsby bringing production closer to France and Europe. The company joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to raise farmers’ awareness of ecology impacts and the principles of respectful work.

Results: Adhering to a global approach, La Redoute is able to participate in the development of a new agriculture paradigm respecting land and man. It has set its sights on producing 100 percent of its cotton-based products from BCI agricultural practices in 2020.

This approach is one of the best ways to create a relationship of trust with customers, who increasingly expect transparency and meaningful actions from companies.

2. Commitment to equal opportunity: an accelerator for social innovations

Action: Committed to supporting young designers and training young people in the fashion and digital professions, La Redoute has teamed up with Casa 93a free fashion schoolto mentor 15 young people through a competition to create “upcycled” silhouettes, using La Redoute’s unsold stock. La Redoute’s own customers will choose the winning look via Instagram content.

Results: Through partnerships, the company becomes a vector of social transformation. It provides opportunities to young disadvantaged talent whose ambition is to improve our society, by helping them realize their projects. This makes knowledge and creativity accessible, creates real professional opportunities, and encourages cocreation. It also promotes active customer participation and exchange, and strengthens community.

3. Territorial engagement for a positive global impact

Action: By choosing to commit to, and invest in, the Roubaix region, La Redoute has created concrete social impacts related to the manufacturing process.

Results: La Redoute prioritizes employment opportunities in the region, maintaining on-site jobs and working with local providers. It elevates the value of Made in France. It provides its employees access to professional training and a digital culture in which they share their know-how and skills, as well as internships for high school and college students. Another major positive impact of its local commitments and concern for transparency has been strengthened consumer confidence.

4. Commitment with good partners: create collaborative business

Action: Committing to progress is also knowing how to mobilize collective energy with positive alliances positioned by like-values. The majority share acquisition of La Redoute by the Galeries Lafayette group allows La Redoute to invest more broadly.

Results: Thanks to this commitment, La Redoute has the means to nurture its position as the family’s favorite platform for home, ready-to-wear and lifestyle purchases, to get closer to its customers through dedicated branded spaces within the department stores, expand in the international market, and strengthen data response and artificial intelligence to better meet customer expectations.