Brand Transformation: Esprit Preparing for Major Relaunch

Esprit has been reshaped over the past three years and is now gearing for a major relaunch this autumn. The past year has been quite challenging as the company saw sales down by 15 percent and gross profit margin fall by 7.9 percent. Despite the downturn, Esprit Holdings Limited has consistently built a solid foundation.

William Pak, Esprit CEO, in an interview, said the company’s restructuring took over a year and a half and was contemplating going global again, with the first choice being Amsterdam as their European headquarters. Like other global headquarters, Esprit also moved because of the market demands. Pak shared that things started getting very provincial and localized, and design and creativity became very localized.

“So over time, the whole world closed up shop and everyone just moved to Germany. When we started the rebranding part of the business, one of the three big things we got to do is go global again. We decided to move the European headquarters to Amsterdam. The office in Ratingen is still there because of a long-term lease, but it’s more German-market specific, so DACH region, Germany, Austria, Switzerland.” Esprit Holdings moved the global brand headquarters to New York City.

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Pak said the brand transformation is in its third year now. In the beginning, Esprit was in the middle of the Protective Shield Proceeding (PSP) in Germany. Pak added they undertook a strategic review of their vendor base, which originally comprised of over 200 factories. Esprit wanted to optimize their collaboration with the top partners and unlock their maximum potential.

“To further enhance our supply chain, we enlisted the expertise of two sourcing agents, enabling us to access superior factories and streamline our operational efficiency. As a result, we have successfully  re-focused our vendor network to better leverage our partners.”

Esprit started the rebranding process last summer. Pak said it takes about almost a year to do a rebrand relaunch. “We’re going to launch the new Esprit in September. It’s the new Esprit because it’s the new updated modernized version of Esprit, based on the brand pillars – playful, modern and cool.”

The CEO explained it takes one year to go from a new design to roll out. “We are now building noise to show people we’re back. The big launch will come in the fall.”

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Nandika Chand