La Redoute is a historic French ready-to-wear company created in 1837. The group is a pioneer in distance selling and launched in this sector in 1928, via its cotton subsidiary. Nowadays, La Redoute has successfully taken the digital turn and quickly established itself as a major player in online sales in France. Indeed, the French brand generates more than 90% of its turnover through online commerce.
The brand has also diversified by offering home decoration and beauty products. This makes La Redoute an e-commerce leader in the Fashion and Decoration market in France. But La Redoute is not fully satisfied with only its success on the French market.
Already present in more than 20 countries, La Redoute achieved 1 billion in business volume, 30% of which are done internationally. This is why the brand continues its international expansion, expanding in particular in the Netherlands and more generally in the Benelux. This development responds to the growing demand from Dutch consumers for La Redoute’s “fashion & home” lifestyle offer.
To tell us about this growth in the Benelux market, we had the chance to welcome during our E-Commerce ECN Xperience event, Arnaud Curvers, Chief Operations Officer at La Redoute and Cristina García González-Sama, Managing Director at Spring GDS – Global.
During their speech, Arnaud and Cristina come back to the exponential development of La Redoute on the Benelux market. They explain in particular how La Redoute has reorganized itself internally and how they have put in place an effective e-commerce shipping strategy.
The Benelux market
The Benelux includes the countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, which represents more than 29 million consumers in this economic zone.
The Benelux constitutes a market with great potential for French e-merchants, in particular because of its geographical proximity to France. But that’s not just the only strength of this market. Indeed, the 3 Benelux countries have a purchasing power above the European Union average. In addition, with the countries being present in the European Union, issues relating to the monetary and customs system are facilitated.
To get a clearer picture in this market, here is some data on the different countries:
There are 16.26 million internet users in the Netherlands, what is interesting is that 98.2% of the population has access to the internet (2020). Regarding the e-commerce market, it represents 25.8 billion euros in 2019. The sectors of tourism, clothing and toys are the ones that sell online the most in the Netherlands.
There are 10.57 million Internet users in Belgium (2020), 87% of the population has access to the Internet. Belgian online spending in 2019 represented 11.5 billion euros in online purchases. The e-commerce market is growing in Belgium, in fact, the turnover of online sales increased by 900 million compared to 2018.
As for Luxembourg, there are 626,000 inhabitants; it is a country with one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world, with 95.2%. It has to be noted that 86% of Luxembourg internet users make online purchases abroad (2017).
Management of e-commerce shipments
The story between the Benelux and La Redoute is not that recent, in fact, the La Redoute group has been present on the Belgian and Luxembourg market for 20 years. It was in June 2019 that La Redoute decided to launch in the Netherlands.
Arnaud explained to us during the Xperience that the French brand sells 2 million items per year, and, in terms of shipping, more than 700,000 packages are sent each year to the Benelux market, with mainly products in the world of furniture and decoration (70% of the brand’s business volume).
List of the challenges of La Redoute in the Benelux:
- Eco-responsibility and carbon footprint neutrality
- Delivery throughout the Benelux network
- Delivery of all La Redoute products (beauty, home, ready-to-wear)
- Delivery and efficient monitoring of furniture and decoration products
In response to these various challenges, La Redoute decided to call on Spring Global Delivery Solutions (Spring GDS) and the international division of the Netherlands postal service (PostNL) to take care of the delivery service in the Benelux.
As explained by Anthony Lecouf, CEO of La Redoute Benelux: “Our main challenge is to offer a service allowing us to deliver almost all of our products, in particular furniture and decoration, throughout the Netherlands, and with a high level of quality and confidence. Spring GDS, PostNL, is an essential partner for our success in this market”
Spring GDS, the essential partner for success on the Benelux market
The choice of Spring GDS is explained by the fact that the international logistics solution has a very developed network in the Benelux with PostNL.
PostNL Benelux also has a solution for every logistical challenge:
- The Packages network: enables the delivery of packages in the Benelux within 24 hours
- Pharma & Care: for the transport of pharmaceutical and healthcare products
- Extr[email protected]: service for the delivery and installation of heavy items
- Mikropakket: express delivery in the Benelux
- International: expert in global solutions for courier services, packages and returns services
These services therefore allow La Redoute to send their entire range of products throughout the Benelux territory.
In order to respond to the issue of furniture delivery, Spring – PostNL offers the [email protected] service. This service allows Internet users purchasing heavy packages, such as furniture, to be delivered to their homes and installed directly at the location intended for them.
Regarding La Redoute’s stake in monitoring its customers’ deliveries, Spring GDS keeps the customer constantly informed. The customer has the possibility to choose the delivery date that suits him best, he also receives a confirmation by SMS and he can consult the progress of the delivery at any time.
An internal reorganization
Since 2017, in addition to the choice of logistics provider, La Redoute has made several changes in its teams in order to respond to the growing demand in the Benelux market but also to the health crisis.
The La Redoute group has implemented a complete reorganization of teams, jobs and the working approach. Indeed, La Redoute is a historical player in distance selling with the catalog; it was therefore necessary to train the teams in digital and e-commerce. This involved the development of new specific skills such as an after-sales service dedicated to furniture.
In addition to this training, the French brand has decided to give more importance to their employees with participatory management. La Redoute has put a lot of effort into the working structure of its teams, with new offices and warehouses to better manage orders and deliveries and thus reduce their carbon footprint.
Arnaud goes into more detail on this point during his speech; do not hesitate to find out more about La Redoute with this video.
In 2020, La Redoute has managed to grow strongly on the Benelux market. Arnaud explained that La Redoute has achieved 120% growth on the Benelux market and + 90% growth in the customer file. Results obtained thanks to their proximity, their products (including furniture), their support teams internally, but also through their partners like Spring GDS.
This growth is also due to their strong development in the Netherlands. La Redoute has achieved + 450% growth and the Netherlands now represent 15% of the business La Redoute Benelux. In all, more than 75,000 packages are sent to the Dutch market.
To know more
If you want to know more about the exponential development of La Redoute in the Benelux market, we invite you to see the intervention of La Redoute and Spring GDS, during our 3rd edition of the ECN Xperience which took place on 02 March 2021.
We were in the company of:
- Arnaud Curvers, Chef Operations Officer at La Redoute
- Cristina García González-Sama, Managing Director at Spring GDS – Global