New stores, tailored suits: How Portugal’s Sacoor Group aims to grow in SEA


In November, Portuguese fashion and lifestyle company Sacoor Group opened its first Sacoor Blue store in Southeast Asia at Kuala Lumpur’s Pavilion, followed by the launch of two more stores at IOI City Mall, capping off what the group’s COO for Southeast Asia Hugo Carriço said was the company’s best performing year in Malaysia. “We believe we have come out stronger than ever. We have taken our time to establish a clear direction and set goals for the next few years, and feel confident t

t that we are finally in a position to execute them,” Carriço told Inside Retail.

Carriço is pleased with how well received the Sacoor brand has been in Malaysia, and he puts it down to having a fantastic team that is motivated and aligned to achieve the financial and operational goals that have been set.

“We pride ourselves in our training strategy which has a special focus on customer service. High-quality customer service is embedded in our DNA, and will continue to strive to find ways to improve this skill set,” he said.

The company is aiming to continue to invest in the region by establishing its e-commerce operations in the marketplace as well as opening more doors.

“We have now exceeded the number of employees we had in 2019 and we will continue in the next coming years to streamline our operations in order to keep up with our demands,” Carriço said.

Sacoor Group COO for Southeast Asia Hugo Carriço. Supplied

A portfolio of brands

Sacoor Group is a portfolio of brands that includes Sacoor Brothers, Sacoor Outlets, Sacoor Kids, Sacoor One and most recently Sacoor Blue.

Sacoor Brothers was the first brand to be formed under the group. It is a premium fashion lifestyle label built on the vision of adding elegance and quality to the luxury market.

The product lines consist of classic wear, including suits made in Portugal in a selection of premium Italian fabrics, as well as more casual wear and sportswear for those who prefer a more relaxed yet trendy look. 

“Our products have a range for both men and women, with new collections launched every two seasons per year. Stepping into Sacoor Brothers is an enjoyable experience, I would invite everyone to visit our outlets,” Carriço said. 

Customers can sip on coffee from the in-house Sacoor Cafe, enjoy live music and take advantage of complimentary tailoring services. Home delivery and other personalisations round out the experience.  

Evolving tastes

The group launched Sacoor One to cater to a younger and more edgy male audience who like to take risks in their personal style, according to Carriço . 

Compared to Sacoor Brothers, Sacoor One’s offering is more casual and sits at a lower price point. It has full-price stores in Malaysia at Sunway Pyramid and IOI City Mall, and outlet stores in Mitsui Park and Johor Premium Outlets.  

Sacoor Blue is the newest addition to the portfolio. It stays true to the Sacoor Brothers DNA, but with sustainability at its core. It aims to connect with a new and younger audience that is looking for affordable yet good quality fashion. 

“Sacoor Blue was first launched in Portugal last year and has now expanded to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. There are currently two Sacoor Blue stores in Malaysia, located in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and IOI City Mall,” Carriço explained.

“In essence, it is a lifestyle brand that will set the foundation for your day-to-day wardrobe. Sacoor Blue allows a wider demographic to experiment with the Sacoor brand.”

Eco-conscious trends

According to Carriço, the idea behind Sacoor Blue was reinforced by the pandemic. In Portugal, many people started moving back to the countryside, when working remotely was an option.

As more people started embracing a more relaxed lifestyle, this was also reflected in their wardrobe choices. During this time, consumers also became more price sensitive. Younger generations became focused on sustainability and brand purpose.

“These factors gave us the confidence to launch Sacoor Blue in Portugal, followed by the other markets. If you look at our store, you will notice elements that resemble a countryside house in the south of Portugal,” he noted.

From using recycled materials in its clothing to setting up an in-store clothing donation point, the group has made efforts to push this message. 

Additionally, all purchases from Sacoor Blue are packed in biodegradable paper bags and can be gift-wrapped in paper and twine upon request. Price tags are also linked to clothes with twine instead of the usual plastic.

Challenges and opportunities

According to Carriço, when compared to the brand’s performance in its main markets in Europe and the Middle East, the brand’s performance in the APAC market still faces many challenges, but there are also many opportunities.

Nonetheless, the instability of some markets, the increase in operational costs, and the disruption of supply chains are some of the main obstacles that the brand needs to overcome in the next 12 to 18 months to grow its presence in this region.

“Despite this, we are confident in our brands and the positioning we have in the market. We are also well supported by our shareholders which has encouraged us to continue to invest and expand in Southeast Asia,” he noted.

He feels that customers in the APAC region are no different from customers in other regions. All of them expect a high level of service and customer experience. The brand has made some localised adjustments for each market as well.

“For example, we have an Asian Fit range found only in Southeast Asia, and some capsule collections developed specifically for the APAC region. Regardless of location, the consistency of our high level of service is always present,” he stated.

Future outlook

Looking towards the future, Carriço revealed that the group has a very clear and ambitious expansion plan for the group in the next three  years, especially in the EMEA region through Sacoor Brothers, and with Sacoor Blue expected to follow suit. 

The brand has a deep love for football, and it has collaborated with Barcelona Football Club and Cristiano Ronaldo, and it also recently became the official sponsor for the Portuguese National Football team. 

“Although we have a global strategy in regard to expansion, we tend to act locally. So, you will continue to see local collaborations within the different markets we are in,” he concluded.


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