Volcom trials capsules for its upmarket range
Californian urban culture-inspired Volcom has adopted a new strategy for its premium range. The line previously known as Volcomunity has been discontinued, and is being replaced this spring by the Constant Vacation capsule collection featuring some fifteen items including shirts, chinos, sweatshirts, board-shorts and tee-shirts.
Volcomunity was launched in 2012 as a menswear and womenswear line designed to appeal to consumers other than adolescents and youngsters. It was a way for skateboarding aficionados from the 1990s to still sport the look in a less logo-heavy, more sophisticated version, with fabrics and cuts offered a toned-down street mood. However, by broadening its clientele, the label seems to have watered down its message.
"Volcomunity had a very broad range, but we now feel we need to strengthen the connection with Volcom's roots," said Julien Politi, one of the creators of Constant Vacation. "The new capsule collection is half the size of the previous line. It targets 18-35 year-olds and uses fine fabrics. The reference is to skateboarders who are constantly on the go, and the logo is inspired by the vintage Pan-Am airline logo. Our aim is to match each of our capsule collections to a specific market niche, making the range stronger, more progressive." If prices remain consistent with those of Volcomunity, the Constant Vacation range, dubbed Volcom Row for womenswear, intends to be even more bold.
This new capsule collection will also enhance the label's merchandising in its retail outlets, (multibrand stores, retail corners or Volcom's own shops), something the Californian brand owned by luxury group Kering plans to leverage for greater visibility. It already has a plan in place for France, where it will open a 400 m2 flagship store in Paris next May, and has already opened a 120 m2 Parisian showroom in rue Réaumur. A stronger presence in Paris, energised by a series of marketing events, will drive the expansion in other major French cities.
Volcom is active on several fronts to generate momentum in multibrand stores too. It was present at the Sport Achat trade show in Lyon, and has relabelled its winter line, now Volcom Outerwear, keen to draw attention to the tech range in Gore-Tex fabric, while remaining focused on the snowboard segment. The label has recalibrated its prices after two years of prices hikes, and this has been well received by retailers.
The 2016 fiscal year was a rocky one for Volcom, which was impacted by the woes of some major US multibrand retail chains. Its revenue was $242 million, down 8% before exchange rate adjustments compared to 2015.
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