Henri Lloyd pivots to digital DTC model

Henri Lloyd has partnered with e-commerce platform Centra as it pivots to a digital-first, direct-to-consumer (DTC) only business model, built around its online flagship store.

Founded in 1963 in Manchester by Henri Strzelecki and Angus Lloyd, the sailing apparel and fashion brand has six physical stores, all located in the UK.

A statement explained that Henri Lloyd understood the need to invest in digital transformation in order to make the brand accessible to customers all over the world.

A new website makes use of Centra’s display functionality to present products in the most compelling way to each visitor. The dynamic e-commerce store also automatically adapts content, campaigns, language and currency depending on the visitor’s geographic IP and history.

Launched in March, the new DTC model quickly became apparent as Coronavirus lockdowns began. With the furlough scheme not in place in Poland, where one of Henri Lloyd’s main production factories is located, the decision was made to utilise the brand’s technical expertise to produce protective face coverings.

These sold out seven times before the end of April, with the highest sales figures recorded in the UK and Australia.

To support the rapidly changing requirements of customers as lockdown conditions shifted, demand for lifestyle products soared as the need for sailing apparel reduced, marketing budget was reallocated to focus around paid social and Google ads, as the brands marketing strategy was refocused.

Graham Allen, head of sales marketing at Henri Lloyd, explained: “Operating as a pure DTC brand we have embedded a new level of responsiveness into the business - we have shifted our strategy to focus on what our customers want and need from us on a daily basis and so grow the emotional connection with them.”

He continued: “Digital transformation sits at the heart of our long-term growth strategy, so it was imperative we had the right infrastructure in place to support us, both now and in the future."

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