FRANCE. Lagardère Travel Retail recently struck a partnership with retail start-up accelerator Lafayette Plug and Play* to enhance its innovation drive. Together they aim to develop initiatives that improve the shopping experience, said the retailer.

The move follows Lagardère Travel Retail’s creation of a dedicated corporate team to spearhead innovation in June 2017. It is headed by COO Asia Pacific Emmanuel de Place and run by Innovation Manager Romée Lamielle. The new structure has the stated aim of “fostering audacity and agility throughout the company”.

“Innovation is already a significant part of our culture and we have always been committed to exceeding our partners’ expectations in that field,” said Lamielle. “Yet our business environment and our customer expectations are now moving at an amazing speed. My team is focused on helping our countries and business lines keep up with this pace by supporting the launch and roll-out of innovative projects and reducing their time to market.”

Romée Lamielle: “Our business environment and our customer expectations are now moving at an amazing speed”

The strategy rests on three pillars:

  • Team-up: building a global innovation community with ambassadors focusing on facilitating local initiatives;
  • Open-up: leveraging partners and the “innovation ecosystem” to act on emerging trends and 
maximize growth potential;
  • Speed-up: fostering a culture of fast, focused experimentation within the company.

Lamielle said: “The partnership with Lafayette Plug and Play totally fits into this strategy. I am convinced that this collaboration will be extremely valuable for us, for them and of course for the start-ups we will be working with.”

Lagardère Travel Retail joins other leading French companies in the Lafayette Plug and Play programme, created by Galeries Lafayette in partnership with Plug and Play Tech Center

Lagardère Travel Retail Chairman & CEO Dag Rasmussen said: “Through this collaboration, we will reach three major objectives, focusing on the delivery of concrete and tangible results. First, we will accelerate our innovative initiatives by increasing collaboration with the start-ups that are relevant for our business. We will also closely monitor and act on the latest trends impacting our industry. Finally, Lafayette Plug and Play will offer a great ecosystem to further train our employees and ensure our culture is more innovative than ever.”

Lafayette Plug and Play Director Pieter Lammens said: “This partnership will enable us to strengthen our expertise in travel retail and to add an amazing testing ground for our ecosystem start-ups. Moreover, the fact that Lagardère Travel Retail are engaging several countries in the Lafayette Plug and Play programme confirms the relevance of our international model. We are thrilled to welcome them as a corporate partner and to start sparking inspiration and collaboration with the Lagardère Travel Retail teams.”

*A platform dedicated to the retail and fashion industries, Lafayette Plug and Play is a start-ups accelerator created by the Galeries Lafayette group in partnership with Plug and Play Tech Center.
 Located at the heart of Paris, Lafayette Plug and Play aims to support the development of French and international start-ups disrupting retail and fashion, by creating an “innovative ecosystem” around these industries. Other corporations in this ecosystem include Carrefour, Up Group, Moët Hennessy, Maus Frères, Lacoste, Camaieu, Kiabi and Mediaperformances.