Kurt Geiger steps up its online retail experience

Kurt Geiger, the luxury shoe and accessory retailer, is overhauling its ecommerce site and deploying a fresh multi-platform strategy as it looks to drive sales online.

Kurt Geiger: revamping e-commerce strategy
Kurt Geiger: revamping e-commerce strategy

The brand is understood to have appointed digital agency Razorfish following a competitive pitch, with a brief to redesign the online store and boost its interactive features.

The revamped site will aim to recreate an in-store experience and have a greater focus on rich media and original content.

As part of the strategy shift, Kurt Geiger is also looking to extend the brand into mobile and will be creating its first fully transactional mobile app. 

As well as stocking its own-brand Kurt Geiger, KG and Carvela shoes, the retailer also stocks footwear from luxury designers such as Jimmy Choo.

Kurt Geiger first branched out into ecommerce in 2005, when it launched a website created by Design UK, positioning the brand as a must-have luxury.

It relaunched as an ecommerce portal in 2008. The enhanced site, created by Pod1, was its first major expansion of the brand.

Kurt Geiger is also poised to roll out Shoeaholics, a discount shoes website which will sell previous-season stock and slow-moving lines, according to reports.

Several premium fashion brands have created high-end ecommerce sites. In November last year, Stella McCartney extended its ecommerce offering to the UK. The site incorporates content from the designer herself as well as social features and the opportunity to order online and collect in-store.

Harvey Nichols, LK Bennett and Matthew Williamson are other designer brands to have expanded on their digital transactional websites and apps in recent months.

Kurt Geiger, founded in 1965, was bought by House of Fraser in 1985, then sold to Harrods in 1994. Barclays Private Equity backed a management buy-out in 2005; it was then purchased by Graphic Capital in 2008 for £95m. It has 63 stores in the UK and 112 concessions in stores including Selfridges and Harrods.

Kurt Geiger declined to comment on the strategy change and agency appointment.

EXPERT COMMENT: Margaret Johnson, Group chief executive, Leagas Delaney

Brands entering ecommerce have to remember that what consumers look for online is different from what they look for in-store. Online shoppers want to get to a product and buy it easily.

Look and feel must not get in the way of functionality, but retailers who charge a premium must get the product to look extraordinary.

Net-A-Porter, for example, makes the product look fantastic, but is clean and uncluttered, creating a luxury experience.

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