La Redoute is the largest mail order company in France, and brand known by 94% oft he French people. Today La Redoute is currently No.1 in France for women's apparel and leader in household linen. It is owned by the PPR holding company. PPR was named "Pinault-Printemps-Redoute" until 2005. Thus the "R" in the acronym refers to La Redoute.
La Redoute was founded in 1928, in Roubaix, in the Norht of France. La Redoute spinning mills publish their first catalogue. Around forty knitted items are presented to 600,000 customers in a small format over 16 pages.
6 years earlier, on 12 October 1922, Pollet family, which founded the spinning mill, is on the brink of failure. To sell off the stocks, it publishes a 4 cm2 classified ad in Le Journal de Roubaix. Entitled: “For knitting”, it offers handspun yarns on sale, hanks and balls. Interested customers may go directly to 88 rue de La Redoute.
Surprise: stocks are snapped up. Home shopping business was born!
Today, La Redoute catalogue is a heavy-weight institution: 1.7 kg, 1,200 pages translated into 18 languages for 13 million copies distributed. The Big book is the home shopping bible.
To get to that position, the company has had to adapt to all the changes of a France that has become less and less rural and more and more urban. It has also made a contribution to female emancipation, by introducing the Kangourou payment card, the first which gave women purchasing power, in 1969.
Since 1969 La Redoute also strives to make haute-couture accessible to everyone, which was an another mini-revolution. Starting with Emmanuelle Khan to design 32 exclusive models, La Redoute democratised fashion and began a longstanding complicity with Grand Couturiers boasts top names: Jean Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, to name a few.
The Home Decoration section also features prominent designers such as Sir Terence Conran, Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Philippe Stark and Jean Michel Wilmotte.
The list of stylists linked to the magazine is a must in itself. Included are Yves Saint Laurent, with 15,000 of his famous tuxedos sold, Karl Lagerfeld, Sonia Rykiel, André Courrèges, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Yohji Yamamoto and Azzedine Alaïa, and the list goes on…
As well as celebrities: Isabelle Adjani, Françoise Hardy, Chiara Mastroiani, Vanessa Paradis, Emmanuelle Béart and Lou Doillon have posed in front of the lens of reputed photographers such as Jean-Marie Périer, Dominique Issermann, Kate Barry and Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
Today, the brand’s new challenges relate to affirming its style. Well-known for its strength in terms of distribution, its ability to incarnate fashion will also be recognised in the future. La Redoute actually employs fifty in-house stylists who are at the heart of 80% of collections. Brands such as La Redoute Création and La Redoute Essentiels emphasise its style, loudly and proudly.
Five or six mini catalogues are distributed each season in an effort to keep moving faster and satisfy customers fond of novelties. On its website, the “fashion minute” puts 35 novelties online every 15 days.
At 80 years old, the Internet is a formidable elixir of youth. In France, La Redoute has also become the first online clothing merchant, and the web distributes the French Touch right throughout the world.
Nonetheless, the days of the paper version are not numbered: 45% of online buyers look at the catalogue first.
Launched in a perpetual race against time, La Redoute has never run so fast!
La Redoute has a unique and eclectic collection of the latest French styles.