GUESS and La Senza parent firm eyes new growth markets through Lazada tie-up

FJ Benjamin, parent company of GUESS, Marc Jacobs, La Senza, and Casio, has tied up with Lazada Singapore to boost its online-to-offline (O2O) sales. Aimed to deliver the "ultimate retail experience" to customers across all channels and devices, the proposed partnership will see both parties building an omnichannel model under which consumers can control the buying process and enjoy a more seamless shopping experience across multiple channels: brick-and-mortar, desktop, and mobile. 

The partnership will cover Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia markets. Additionally, the two brands will discuss opportunities for the FJ Benjamin to break into new markets Lazada has a presence in, such as Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. They will also expand and incubate FJ Benjamin's new brands to eventually integrate brick-and-mortar and virtual stores.

While some of FJ Benjamin's brands including La Senza, Pretty Ballerinas and Petunia Pickle Bottom, are currently available on Lazada’s shopping platform LazMall, FJ Benjamin said this is "the first time" a brick-and-mortar store and an eCommerce platform have come together to build an omnichannel model. This is, however, not Lazada's first attempt at curating O2O experiences with brands. In 2019, it partnered with Korean beauty company Amorepacific to launch its "new retail" concept store at Funan in Singapore. The store aimed to blend O2O shopping elements, delivering customer experience from browsing and sampling products to purchasing and fulfillment.

FJ Benjamin's dive into the O2O strategy comes as its stores in Southeast Asia were forced to shut since the pandemic last year. The brand has since pivoted to eCommerce, and ramped up its online presence from one brand, Superdry, to almost all its brands including Guess, La Senza, Casio, Rebecca Minkoff, Pretty Ballerinas, Airfree and Dr Barbara Sturm.

Group CEO of FJ Benjamin Nash Benjamin said: “FJ Benjamin has been strategising and planning our omnichannel business model for some time now and this partnership with Lazada is intended to get us to where we want to be much faster and in a more cost-efficient manner. This will combine our respective capabilities to strengthen customer experience across brick-and-mortar and virtual channels.”

James Chang, CEO of Lazada Singapore, added the platform is thrilled to be part of FJ Benjamin's O2O journey. "Lifestyle, fashion and beauty are important pillars in our eCommerce plans and shoppers can now look forward to seeing more well-known brands and labels on our platform, for an integrated shopping experience," he said, adding that Lazada has supported many businesses that adopted a multichannel approach to set up stores online in the last year. 

FJ Benjamin joins the slew of brands tapping into Lazada's online platform to boost their sales recently. Earlier in January, SK-II launched its first-ever online flagship store in Southeast Asia on LazMall, enabling consumers to shop for products and receive personalised beauty advice via a virtual skincare consultation through the Lazada in-app chat function. Consumers will also receive their products in a LazMall-exclusive gift box featuring SK-II's PITERA Essence and other popular products. Other brands that also worked with the eCommerce platform include BMW AsiaMetroDecathlon, and Nike on LazMall.

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