Burton recently opened a new Hub concept store in Zurich, Switzerland and SOURCE joined them for the launch party on September 21. While in Zurich, SOURCE sat down with Franck Waterlot, VP of Sales and Marketing Europe to talk about the new Hub concept, the business, European strategy, Hermann Kapferer retiring and much more. Below is our One Eyed Monster gallery from the launch party and an excerpt from the interview with Franck, which will be featured in full as SOURCE’s first Big Wig interview of the 17/18 winter season. Interview by SOURCE Editor, Harry Mitchell Thompson.
Excerpt from Issue 89 Big Wig Interview with Franck Waterlot, Burton Europe’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing:
Please tell us your background, Franck.
I did business studies, with a sales and marketing specialisation and I started working 25 years ago. The first part of my life was working in the apparel and fashion business, including some years at Calvin Klein as French Country Manager. I decided to join Oakley back in 2007, and this is when I started to work in the sports environment – mixing my passion for sports with business.
How long have the plans for these new Hubs in Zurich (and later Munich) been in place?
After joining Burton, it took me a few months to assess the situation and understand the business, the model and the direction the brand was coming from – including the new retail landscape. Some time later I presented my plan to Hermann and the Global Management team, with a long-term strategy to increase our business in Europe. The Hub concept breaks down the silos, breaks down the barriers across channels of trade and borders, and is strongly connected to the territory. The goal is to get closer to our consumers and communicate with them on a local level.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of D2C?
You get to learn more about consumers, see how they react and behave, but also what they need and what they buy. Growing the D2C part of our business means understanding and monitoring better, while having some direct return on our investment and one-on-one marketing activity. In any case, D2C is still a minority part when compared to the wholesale part of our business.
Stay tuned for the full Big Wig interview in SOURCE Issue 89, December/January.