Kiabi bets on more sustainable fashion, always at low prices

Kiabi bets on more sustainable fashion, always at low prices

In the apparel sector, where new struggling brand names are listed week after week, hearing that an apparel player is happy with its results is rare enough to be highlighted. This is the case with Kiabi. “We are one of the few brands that have continued business development and not closed any stores.», rejoices Ouarda Ech-Chykry, head of the French market for Kiabi. The brand even opened five in France, which now has 348, as well as around thirty corners in Auchan and around fifteen “closets” on Amazon.

After a record year in 2022, during which its turnover increased by more than 10%, the company continued to grow, reaching a turnover of 2.2 billion euros (+1.1%) last year. “We have strengthened our financial strength and profitability», explained Patrick Sassi, CEO of Kiabi. If inflation has reduced spending across the sector, the brand has positioned itself as a “purchasing power partner” for its customers.

The future headquarters of Kiabi, a place of sharing including shops, restaurants… Kiabi

A sustainable wardrobe at a low price

With this good data, the brand now wants to read its performance beyond the issue of turnover. “We think that compulsive buying of clothes does not correlate with our values, we want to stay fashionable while being a useful brandPatrick Stassi insisted. Owned by the Mulliez family, the brand uses a long-term horizon that allows its family stake to place economic indicators on a par with environmental or social issues in its ambitions for 2035. Reading turnover growth is one thing. but from now on it will be investigated in the same way as carbon emissions or the sustainability of the raw materials used.

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On the development side, it changes everything! “We no longer design a product without thinking about sustainability», confirms Julie Silvert, Kiabi collections manager. In addition to limiting the use of 100% sustainable raw materials (organic cotton, linen, hemp, recycled material, etc.) until 2025, the brand also thinks about the end of the life of the products from their design, favoring mono-composition, easier to recycle. Even on the dyeing side, the company makes great efforts and develops natural shades as much as possible in its projects. The 2024 collection also includes more than 500,000 undyed pieces. “Our desire is to support customers in sensibly renewing their wardrobe while maintaining affordability.», sums up the manager. That’s the promise from a brand that has been known for its low-cost fashion for years.

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To achieve this, the brand is obviously working on its manufacturing processes to draw all the lines as precisely as possible. And not to disappoint, in 2024 Kiabi will restore the price blocks it used last year. For some time now, however, he has also been focusing on the rise in the offer of used cars. And customers confirm it. Last year, according to the Kantar panel, Kiabi became the leading brick-and-mortar brand in the sale of second-hand clothing, enabling it to acquire more than a million new customers.

Launched in 2020 as a test in one store, the second-hand clothing offer is now present in 315 of the brand’s stores in 5 countries. In a few months, his northern-based second-hand concept store KidKanaï will expand to select corner stores, starting with Kiabi Village, the company’s new headquarters and test lab, which is slated to open next August.

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