French mail order giant 3 Suisses will no longer provide its famous catalog, making the Spring-Summer 2014 edition the very last one. The company will now focus on its position as an e-tailer.
Exit "Big Book"
According to Les Echos, the 3 Suisses board announced the last edition of the 'Big Book', as the bi-annual 930 pages catalog was called internally, some 2 weeks ago. It was not really a surprise: 3 Suisses has had to deal with dropping turnover in France, the home of the distance sale. Last year resulted in a loss of 60 to 70 million euro, its fifth straight year with losses.
The company is in a real struggle, because in a fast fashion world (ruled by chains like Zara and H&M) collections are quickly replaced - something that is not really the forte of a catalog with a shelf life of 6 months. This longer period requires more stock, an issue "pure players" like ASOS, Zalando and even VentePrivée do not have.
New bosses, new rules
Scrapping the catalog that was still printed in 8 million copies, is one of the first major decisions the new CEO, Eric Dubois, has made after he had been asked to replace Caroline Liévois, who had failed in the past two years to make 3 Suisses profitable again in France.
Former PPR (current Kering) had previously tasked Dubois with the reform of Scandinavian mail order company Ellos into an internet player, preparing it for a sale to Nordic Capital in 2013 and that is exactly the thing he has to try again with 3 Suisses, at the request from its new German owner, Otto Group.