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America, 1968. Susie and Doug Tompkins were driving through California in a station wagon full of their homemade fashion. They sold these items of clothing in an unconventional manner – from the backseat of the vehicle. The very first customers were already excited about this new fashion because they sensed the special charm and the lifestyle hiding behind it. And thus, the hour of birth of one of the most successful lifestyle brands in the world reflected precisely what its name says: Esprit A worldwide success
Whilst the opting out of the founding partners in the 1970s turned Esprit USA into an independent company, the international enthusiasm for this new lifestyle increased around the globe with the construction of Esprit headquarters in Europe (Düsseldorf) and Asia (Hong Kong). In 1976, Esprit started out in Germany with the name Esprit de Corp. with young outerwear, and rapidly became one of the most successful lifestyle companies on the European market. Since the complete buying back of the American brand rights in April 2002, Esprit has become one of the few global companies today to own 100 per cent of a worldwide brand.
Esprit in figures
In the 2006/2007 business year, Esprit Holdings Limited generated a worldwide group turnover of around EUR 2.8 billion (as of 30.6.2007). The net profits increased to around EUR 488 million with growth of 39 per cent in comparison to the previous year. The share of Esprit Holdings Limited is listed on the Hong Kong stock market and is included in both the Hang Seng Index, in the MCSI Index Hong Kong, as well as in the FTSE All World Index for Hong Kong., S&P/HKEx LargeCap Index and S&P Asia 50 Index.
The Group operates more than 650 directly managed retail stores worldwide and distributes its products via more than 14,000 wholesale locations around the globe. The company has more than 950,000 square metres of sales area in more than 40 countries.
Esprit is lifestyle
Today, more than ever, Esprit is an international, young brand that offers its customers the smart, affordable luxury of constantly being able to enrich their life with something special and something new, which always corresponds to the current tastes and styles. This lifestyle concept is the central point of the Esprit philoso-phy. The brand uses this to constantly communicate to its customers the security and guidance that they want on today's markets, which are saturated by increasingly short-lived trends. Thus, it is no wonder that Esprit ranks among the brands with the highest level of repeat purchases, i.e. those with the most loyal regu-lar customers. And this has nothing to do with age, but is more about this joint attitude, this feeling of to-getherness that characterises the Esprit target groups. Independent product ranges
Esprit has split its individual product ranges into organizational divisions, which act as independent business units. Each of the current ten product ranges has its own character and its own target group, but always clearly adheres to the generic brand values of Esprit.
• Women Casual – sporty and fashionable indoor and outdoor styles
• Men Casual – uncomplicated sportswear with a high wearing comfort
• Women Collection – high-quality, feminine business looks
• Men Collection – elegant, trend-oriented business fashion
• de.corp ESPRIT URBAN CASUAL – young, urban and feminine, addresses 18 to 25-year-old female customers who are in search of a casual, urban look
• Esprit Kids – current, child-oriented trends (0 to 7 years old)
• Esprit Sports – skiwear, fitness fashion and streetwear for women, men and kids that harmoniously combines fashion and function
• Accessories – bags, leather and textile accessories for men and women
• Shoes – women's, men's and children's shoes from fashionable to classic, from leather to nylon
• Bodywear – day and night underwear, as well as swimwear for men, women and kids
edc by Esprit
In 1998, the young range edc by Esprit was founded. The range for girls from 14 to 24 years features current trends from the music scene and from the trendiest metropolises and brings out 12 monthly basis new product lines a year. Based on the success and growth of edc by Esprit, edc men was established in 2002. The edc portfolio is completed by its own shoes, accessories and bodywear ranges, as well as edc licence products.
• edc by Esprit – very trendy instant range for 14 to 24-year-old girls
• edc men – cosmopolitan trends for young, fashion-conscious boys
• edc accessories – trendy bags, leather and textile accessories for girls and boys
• edc shoes – shoes that match the trends of edc by Esprit and edc men
• edc bodywear – trendy underwear for an individual look
• edc youth by Esprit – brand new styles for little rebels between 8 and 14
Since 2007, edc by Esprit has been an independent brand with its own team. The independence from the “big sister” Esprit is also emphasised by its own Headquarters for 2010. The worldwide expansion of edc by Esprit's own stand-alone stores emphasizes the independence of edc by Esprit and provides a stylish environment for the trend products.
A team of international designers incorporates the attributes of Esprit in various fashion line rhythms with confidence, naturalness, modernity and sensuality: from Esprit Kids, Shoes and Esprit Sports, per year and product range 12 lines are created with six order dates. The lines including Women Casual, Women Collection, de.corp ESPRIT URBAN CASUAL, Men Casual, Men Collection, Accessories, as well as the complete edc ranges, can even be ordered monthly. Depending on the range, Bodywear provides 10 to 12 fashion lines a year with four order dates. Esprit continuously invests in quality and fit. The constant focus: the unmistakable Esprit of the products and convincing value for money. This high standard also applies in the manufacturing of the products: “our customers expect us to provide them with contemporary, high-quality and affordable products”, explains Heinz Krogner, Chairman and Group CEO. “We must meet this demand – not just in the short term, but permanently and everywhere in the world”.
For the consistent presentation of the image of a globally active brand such as Esprit, an unmistakable visual appearance is absolutely vital. For many years now, Esprit has operated its own image office that exclusively takes care of an internationally uniform brand presence. This image office develops and monitors all communication media for advertising, promotional activities and the point of sale. All photo shoots of Esprit's cur-rent image campaigns are coordinated and realized by this office – in short, everything visual about the Esprit brand.
From the pure product to the complete service strategy, since 1990 successful licence partnerships have been emphasizing the expansion of the Esprit brand into a global lifestyle group. In cooperation with companies with a strong market presence, a large and partly worldwide pool of Esprit licenses was created in the mean-time. The more than 30 license partners include, for example, Coty/Lancaster, which carries out the global management of Esprit's scent range and Falke, the license partner for socks and stockings. Under the name “Esprit timewear + jewel”, Egana Holdings Ltd. has been producing watches and jewelry for more than ten years .
Esprit has focused on and expanded two sectors: the sector of Esprit Home with a comprehensive selection of furniture, carpets, wallpaper, lighting, living accessories, home textiles and exclusive bathrooms, as well as the kids' world that ranges from maternity wear to toys and buggies to complete nursery furniture. There are plans to further expand the license business worldwide in order to incorporate the Esprit lifestyle in all areas of life.
Experience the brand: the Esprit stores
The Esprit lifestyle concept is presented in detail in the impressive mega flagship stores, which feature both the current Esprit fashion lines, and license products under one roof. The relaxed atmosphere, the spacious and clear product presentation, the logical customer guidance and not least the competent sales staff make up the unmistakable overall impression of each store.
Esprit has its own architecture department that is responsible for the worldwide design of the stores. It own visual department also gives each store not just the uniform Esprit character, but also its own individual sig-nature style. Inspired by international trends, great value is attached to loving details that turn each store into a unique shopping experience. Professional handling that also benefits the Esprit partner stores. Ultimately, a reliable cooperation with an established and strong partner such as Esprit is the best basis for a long-lasting secure position and improved competitiveness in today's tense trading environment. And one other thing is typical of Esprit: the company continuously passes on its extensive expertise to its partners – a type of all-round support program, which ranges from merchandise management linking to workshops to the façade design.
Learn more about Esprit at http://www.esprit.com/
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