As Joe Fresh prepares for global expansion, Retail Week speaks to chief operating officer Mario Grauso.
Why is now the right time for Joe Fresh to expand internationally?
Joe [Mimran, creative director] and I spoke a lot about whether the assortment was ready.
It’s ready. It’s an assortment large enough to service the needs of the global consumer.
I’ve been here five months. The new guy is always objective, he can ask ‘is everything we need here?’ We have a big assortment, from baby to kids’ to women’s active to men’s. That’s what led me to say let’s do this.
J Crew’s Mickey Drexler has talked about the need to stand out in an increasingly homogenous global fashion landscape. How will JoeFresh stand out?
I agree with Mickey. The globe is smaller now. You see the all the same people in all the same cities.
We’re not chasing trend, that’s not something we do. But we have a sensibility. It’s dependent on modern basics, colour and price value. We put things out at prices I’m very proud of, but keeping integrity – there’s nuance, the details are there.
Why did you choose the franchising route to international expansion?
With the regions we’ve chosen, I’m not arrogant enough to think I could do it on my own.
I wanted experts who could give me insight into those markets – I couldn’t do business in them or put together a team there.
Will Joe Fresh come to the UK? There are connections with Selfridges for instance through the Weston family.
I’ve walked that store many times. We’ve been talking to them. We hope to do something in London in the next six to eight months.
The success of Selfridges speaks about how challenging it would be to get floorspace, even with connections. We would be super excited.