I can still remember our first meeting about 10 years ago. At that time Patrick Stupp, CEO Rich & Royal, came to our editorial team to show us a coatrack of NOS styles. All pieces were on the point and had an attractive price structure. This concept was very well received in the market, which at that time was still characterized by a more classical rhythm, and Rich & Royal quickly gained success. Since then the brand has become a brand with a complete collection, which it shows at exhibitions such as Premium in Berlin. And there is also an increased investment in the retail sector. The brand currently operates three own stores. In addition, there are more than 30 shop-in-shop systems and several soft shops. Pop-up concepts are also on the agenda. It recently cooperated with Breuninger. Here, Stupp explains why Rich & Royal is exploring temporary concepts and how it wants to expand in the future.
How high are yearly investments in your own floors compared to sales?
Initially investments always are disproportionately high, especially concerning the “own retail” segment. But those are investments into the future. In contrast, all shop-in-shop systems are charged by retail partners and coupled with specific buying conditions. Therefore, investments in this segment are limited. At the end of the day, our retail partner should profit from better floor ratios, following the motto “If our retail partner is doing well, we are too.”
Why is this segment currently so important for you?
Our big goal is to transfer excitement and emotion to the floor together with our retail partners. We also want the presentation of our product to be of high quality. It always was like that. Concerning most of our retail partners our shop-in-shop concept really matches the department. Improving the brand’s unique presentation always results in a better floor performance. Our own retail stores are like playgrounds for us. Here we try out new things, test new presentation possibilities and are really close to the end consumer and our product. This is very important to us. Our staff from marketing, sales and design is regularly active on the floors in order to profit from this closeness.
What was the significance of the floor at Breuninger in this context? And how important are pop-up spaces in general?
Breuninger is a partner from Day One to whom we are connected very closely. All floors were worked out through performance and success. In the headquarters in Stuttgart our floor was doubled by an additional 40 sq. meters in the last weeks. In the entrance areas of the stores in Stuttgart and Düsseldorf we additionally operated pop-up spaces of 40 sq. meters. We consider it to be relevant and good that retailers offer floors for changing trend and brand topics. Therefore, the end consumer always gets to see new, exciting things. For us it is a possibility to increase the popularity of our brand in a store and to heighten the desire for our products. We offer great cooperation models in this context.
Are there more pop-up spaces planned for the future? And if so, where?
Until next spring our calendar is full of pop-up spaces, from Kiel to Munich. More spaces are planned for high frequency stores such as Wagener in Baden Baden, Baltz in Bochum, Leffers in Oldenburg, Breuninger in Stuttgart and Düsseldorf and Dodenhof in Posthausen, just to mention a few.
How open is retail to floor partnerships?
Our partners intensively think about with whom and how to start a floor partnership. We identify a strong demand for our solutions measuring 30-40 sq. meters. Nobody wants a monotone string of countless shop-in-shops anymore. Our performance and optics, though, speak for themselves and for us.
What do you count on when it comes to store design?
Our design was developed in cooperation with Stuttgart architects Blocher Partners. It is based on a mixture of high-quality materials that match our DNA. It is an interplay of black and gold product displays, cubes made of white and black marble as well as gray and pink concrete looks that melt together into islands of presentation. This creates a cool and high-quality look. Additionally the system has to be flexible and appear light. That’s how floors can be operated fast and cost-effectively.
How do you cope with the digitalization of the POS? Do specific applications already exist? And, if so, do you already use them?
In our new store in Stuttgart we currently are testing a 15-sq.-meter LED wall. The elongated counter will follow soon. We have some good plans not acted upon on how to transfer the topic to our partners.
Which strategy do you apply for international expansion?
The Benelux countries and Scandinavian markets are developing really well. In the Middle East we will open three stores of around 200 sq. meters with our partners next spring. We will also begin to work with a strong partner in North America then.