Frette ramping up wholesale biz

Retail Editor 3, August 5, 2013

New York - Luxury linens house Frette will make its debut at NY Now this month as it looks to expand its wholesale business into the luxury retail segment in the Americas.
In addition to its eight U.S. stores and ecommerce site, Frette also sells into the luxury hospitality and cruise line areas. Roughly two years ago, it began putting more emphasis on distribution to high-end department stores and retailers.
"I'm a big fan of letting shoppers buy where they want to buy," Frette ceo Laurence Franklin told HTT. "We're relatively under-distributed in the U.S. compared to other luxury brands."
Frette's first major target was Bloomingdales. "We've expanded the number of doors and number of categories we're represented in there. We've also invested in staff and account managed," he said.
With that anchor in place, the company is aiming to establish a network of specialty retailers who serve luxury consumers. The effort began earlier this year with Frette's inaugural showing at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Fair in January and its debut at the spring High Point Market in North Carolina.
Wholesale customers in the U.S. tend to stock basics and an edited assortment of fashion pieces, said Franklin, who noted that Frette beds are so richly accessorized that a single bed in a single color can have up to 30 skus.
"The U.S. customer is slightly predisposed to favor the basics. The taste is slightly less exotic," he said. "Customers in those channels are a little more stable in their tastes."
The idea is to provide boutique owners with a "best in classification" assortment edited to appeal to local shoppers.
"You need to serve your customer wherever she shops," said Franklin.


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