The point of difference that will propel Bardot Junior’s growth in the US
Kids fashion and occasion-wear brand Bardot Junior has launched its standalone website in the US, as part of its international expansion and growth. The brand is part of the womenswear label Bardot, which was bought out of administration and transformed by chief executive Basil Artemides and creative director Carol Skoufis in 2020. It now specialises as a wholesale and e-commerce retailer, with a focus on premium and sustainable products. Bardot is stocked at David Jones in Australia – and i
and in international retailers including Asos, Revolve, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Dillard’s – while Bardot Junior has a presence in David Jones, Myer and The Iconic. However, Bardot Junior will expand its distribution network in early 2023.
Artemides told Inside Retail that Bardot’s revenue was consistent, and Bardot Junior experienced sales growth across 2021 and 2022. Both brands were able to maintain their wholesale relationships, with Bardot seeing a different type of consumer on its websites, compared to in-store, prior to the closure of its 72 stores in 2019.
“We’re more of a dress business and focus on the occasion-wear niche, so our prices have moved slightly up. The [target audience] is around 25-34 years old, compared to when we were in bricks-and-mortar, which skewed a bit younger,” Artemides said.
He added that Bardot Junior will enter department stores overseas – including Hudson Bay in Canada, and Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Dillard’s – who have picked up the brand in the US.
“We’re looking to expand [Bardot Junior] through these department stores, [as well as] through our digital channels,” he said.
According to Artemides, Bardot Junior fills the relatively small niche of occasion-wear for girls, who might be looking for outfits for weddings, birthday parties or engagement parties
“When we were talking to US department stores, [we found that] there aren’t many brands that do occasion-wear for kids, and not many that do it with the kinds of fabrics and construction we use in our garments. We’re providing a quality offer for junior occasion-wear,” he said.
“Our unique proposition, reasonable price-point and [fashion sensibility] makes our brand stand out. I think that’s why David Jones has taken us to more stores, and why [our presence] in America will be a bit different to traditional kidswear brands.”
Artemides added that Bardot Junior is well positioned in Australia, with a strong and loyal following online and in department stores..
“Even though occasion-wear for kids is a difficult sell online, we’ve got a great business in that space,” he said.
“Over time, I think [Bardot and Bardot Junior] will have similar turnovers. With e-commerce, they’ll slowly come together.”
New stores on the horizon
While there is customer crossover between the two brands, Artemides explained that over 50 per cent of Bardot Junior’s customer base has never bought from Bardot.
He added that Bardot Junior’s ambition is to grow its vertical customer base, and introduce new, overseas customers to the brand.
“We’ve got a great business with Bardot at Revolve – which is a well known website in the US – so people will recognise the brand. We’re hoping to leverage some of that familiarity [to grow Bardot Junior] but it’s a completely different segment, so it’ll take a bit of advertising,” he said.
“Being able to market our products appropriately, and at the right season, is key for us. [It’s] why we set up that US Bardot Junior website independently [from Bardot] so it can have that focus with the right seasonality.”
He added that the brand plans to open dual stores – representing Bardot and Bardot Junior in the one place – in Melbourne and in Sydney, so the brand has a bricks-and-mortar representation. The goal is to get these stores running in 2023.
“The plan next year is to focus more on loyalty, and personalisation on the websites. We have four sites running now, and our focus is on engagement with the consumer,” he said.
“The two stores are also a focus, and we’re hoping to find the right location that suits both brands.
“We’ve built the infrastructure. Now it’s about giving consumers a great experience.”
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