Last year, Lacoste purchased its Spanish distributor, the Basi company, which had been selling Lacoste since 1962. In May, the company changed its name to Lacoste Iberica SAU. At present, Lacoste Iberica employs 436 workers of which 225 are in Barcelona. As a result of the purchase, Lacoste decided it made more sense to distribute directly from France and announced in early October that they would be laying off all the workers in their Catalonian warehouse, many of the administrative staff, as well as reducing store personnel. These initial plans affected 135 workers. Now, after negotiations with the Unions, Lacoste has reduced the layoffs, although they are still significant.
Overall, about a hundred employees of the firm, which represents more than 40% of the workforce in Barcelona, will still be affected. Specifically, the Barberà del Vallès warehouse, where there are fifty-eight employees, will be closed. In addition, the Outlet store in Barcelona, where seven people work, and the offices in Badalona, with thirty-five employees, will be shuttered.
On October 19th, Lacoste reopened its renovated store located on the first floor of the Unicenter Shopping Center in Buenos Aires. The work took three full months during which Lacoste completely remodeled the space to match the rest of its stores across the world.
Expanded to around seventy square meters (approximately 700 square feet), the store has a minimalist feel due to its increased lighting, white tones, and heavy use of light wood and glass in its counters and displays.
Currently, Lacoste has about twenty stores in Argentina, twelve of which are located in Buenos Aires, mainly in upscale shopping centers. The other stores are in places like Cordoba, Rosario, Tucumán, Chaco and Jujuy, etc. Lacoste also operates in the nearby countries of Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Over thirty-two percent of Lacosted‘s traffic comes from the Philippines, making it the largest source of traffic for this blog. Almost all of that traffic is either to my post on detecting counterfeit Lacoste shirts or the one on identifying fake women’s bags. Apparently, there is a lot of fake Lacoste out there, which is not surprising when a Lacoste shirt can cost over P4,000. In any event, once I realized how much traffic I was getting from the Philippines, I did some research into why Lacoste is so popular there.
Lacoste’s popularity in the Philippines is mainly due to the brand’s long presence (it was introduced in the 1970s), and it’s association with the upper classes. The brand has phenomenal penetration in the Philippines with around ninety-eight percent brand recognition in surveys, and the Philippines is considered the benchmark Asian market for Lacoste. While Lacoste’s customers are mainly more affluent Filipinos, it continues to increase its sales as an aspirational brand for the less affluent.
Editor’s Note: As always, the counterfeit Lacoste keeps coming, so before you buy make sure you check out my articles on detecting fake Lacoste shirts and detecting fake Lacoste bags, or my detailed discussion of how to authenticate Lacoste.
On October 10th, Lacoste filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against dozens of online merchants accusing them of violating Federal trademark laws.
According to the complaint, the thirty-seven defendants created multiple aliases to sell counterfeit Lacoste goods through e-commerce stores. Lacoste claims the counterfeit items are of a lesser quality and will confuse customers into thinking the defendants’ fake goods are real Lacoste products:
“Defendants are using Lacoste’s famous brand name and trademarks to drive internet consumer traffic to their e-commerce stores operating under the seller IDs, thereby increasing the value of the seller IDs and decreasing the size and value of Lacoste’s legitimate common marketplace at plaintiffs’ expense”
The company alleges the defendants are causing irreparable harm. In addition, Lacoste claims the defendants are making substantial profits and are “likely to transfer or secret their assets to avoid payment of any monetary judgment awarded to plaintiffs.” Lacoste is seeking an injunction to stop the defendants from selling the counterfeit items and disable the seller IDs.
Lacoste and Disney are joining together to release a new Fall line for a joint anniversary celebration of Lacoste’s 85th anniversary and Mickey and Minnie Mouse’s 90th anniversary. The pieces all feature Mickey and Minnie playing tennis. My favorite is the classic Lacoste polo shirt with the crocodile logo replaced by Mickey Mouse.
The pieces will be available at Lacoste stores and Lacoste.com, beginning Nov. 1 in the United States and November 14th in the rest of the world. In the U.S., prices will range from $78 to $348.