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FJ Benjamin to launch e-commerce for fashion brands Lancel, Axel Arigato

Online stores for the two brands will be launched in the region “in the coming weeks”, the fashion retailer said.

FJ Benjamin to launch e-commerce for fashion brands Lancel, Axel Arigato

Fashion retailer FJ Benjamin will launch an e-commerce platform for French label Lancel. (Photo: Lancel)

Southeast Asian fashion retailer FJ Benjamin is scaling up its online store network in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The company has inked agreements with several fashion brands it represents, as well as several new labels, for the rights to sell online.

E-commerce platforms will be launched for upmarket fashion brands Lancel and Axel Arigato, “in the coming weeks”, the company said. 

Up until now, franchisors of global fashion brands are typically granted brick-and-mortar rights only. When the pandemic hit and FJ Benjamin’s stores were shuttered in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, the company could not immediately pivot online to compensate for the suspended in-store sales. 

It currently has 15 stores in Singapore, 200 in Indonesia and over 70 in Malaysia.

Prior to the pandemic, FJ Benjamin only had e-commerce rights to Superdry. It now runs online stores for four other brands, namely Guess, Casio, Pretty Ballerina and Anti-Social Social Club. 

It will soon roll out online stores for seven other brands. Upmarket brands include Lancel, Axel Arigato and skincare label Dr Barbara Sturm.

A Singapore online store for sneaker brand Axel Arigato will soon be launched. (Photo: Axel Arigato)

“We are pleased that we are now able to offer the convenience of e-commerce to our customers for five brands, and will be able to do so very soon for at least seven more, including some new labels which will make online debuts only,” said Douglas Benjamin, Group Chief Operating Officer of FJ Benjamin.

The e-commerce platform for Lancel will be launched in Malaysia. Axel Arigato and Dr Barbara Sturm will be available in FJ Benjamin’s markets through the Singapore website while the company assesses sales volumes.

“In the future, we may consider opening brick-and-mortar stores if it proves to be a viable option, depending on the COVID-19 situation, performance of the brand online and future rental expectations,” Benjamin said.

However, while FJ Benjamin ramps up its online presence, it will not forsake its physical store network, which will continue to be its mainstay. “Brick-and-mortar will always be relevant in the fashion trade. People still want to go down to stores to touch and feel, but there is a new comfort that has emerged among consumers with regards to shopping online,” Benjamin said.

“But we will definitely be culling stores that are not performing to expectations, where we cannot be profitable either because of high cost or low volume,” he added.

“Brick-and-mortar will always be relevant in the fashion trade. People still want to go down to stores to touch and feel, but there is a new comfort that has emerged among consumers with regards to shopping online." – Douglas Benjamin

To enhance the customer experience, FJ Benjamin will adopt the "click and pick" omnichannel approach, where customers can buy online and pick up or return at the store, where there are physical stores available. 

For online-only labels, delivery will be available along with shipping costs, depending on the courier service used in each country.

READ> What will luxury shopping look like when Singapore stores reopen in Phase 2?

Source: CNA/st(ds)

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