The sport chic brand, born in Annecy, opens its capital to Mirabaud funds to strengthen its international presence and finance its growth.
For its 70th anniversary, Fusalp is thinking big. The company, created in 1952 in Annecy, and taken over in December 2013 by the founder’s grandchildren, Sophie and Philippe Lacoste, once again announces a capital increase reserved for 12.8%, and in equal shares, for Mirabaud Patrimoine Vivant and Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation funds, managed respectively by Renaud Dutreil (former Chairman of LVMH North America) and David Wertheimer (member of the Chanel family). At the end, Sophie and Philippe Lacoste and their partner Alexandre Fauvet, the general manager of Fusalp, remain in the majority.
“The time has come to take a new step by attacking the North American market, to continue the trajectory initiated pre-covid”, explains Alexandre Fauvet. Because, if the ski clothing brand was impacted by the health crisis when it launched its first ready-to-wear collections, it was able to bounce back by erasing the poor performance of the year 2021 (12% drop in the turnover) with turnover close to 41 million euros (€m) for the financial year ending May 2022, an estimated increase of 87% (with 200 employees, including 70 in Annecy out of 130 in France ).
A real rise, when we know that the turnover was 22 M€ in 2021… and 6 M€ in 2013. That is an average growth of 35% per year. The ski activity weighs 20%, ready-to-wear 30% and versatile products (second layers, etc.) 50%.
” A book, written by screenwriter Mohamed El Khatib, traces the 70 years of Fusalp. It highlights this tremendous human adventure and is partly composed of portraits of women and men who created and developed the brand, of champions too”welcomes Alexandre Fauvet, at the initiative of this work.
New premium boutiques internationally
With this operation, Fusalp will multiply its international locations, particularly on the other side of the Atlantic, with the launch of two stores, in New York and in the Aspen resort, next November, thus bringing the network of stores to fifty. , in eight countries. Overall, the brand will therefore have some 300 points of sale (pop-ups, corners, etc.) in 25 countries.
Other stores should follow, in Zurich, London, Brussels and Madrid. “We are aiming for six openings at the end of winter 2022-2023, compared to double in previous years. But these stores will be larger and located in popular areas,” says the manager. In France, where half of the brand’s stores are located, the park will be completely restructured, with the aim of highlighting the ready-to-wear collections.
The heritage cut
In addition, the company wants to boost its “product” investments, “by increasing the density of the teams in Annecy and Paris, and by recruiting other stylists”while accelerating digitalization to evolve the customer experience.
The common thread is innovation. After creating an in-house R&D and “materials quality” laboratory during confinement, the manufacturer – who invented the first ski suit in 1958 – is working on thermoregulation, finesse and lightness. An obsession. “We are currently working on a “double glazing” type structure, to improve protection against the cold, with a proven thermal gain of 15 to 20%”, reveals Alexandre Fauvet, who also entrusts “The advances made in the field of thermoregulation, by assembling fabrics, insulation and membranes, will allow us to design versatile and all-season products so thatultimatelyour customers can wear them often and for a long time. »
These qualities are one of the major axes of the Fusalp Futur program, which advocates sustainability. A member of the Fashion Pact, the manufacturer also offers, with this in mind, lifetime repairability of its products in its workshops in Annecy, and an extension of the warranty to five years (except for knits).
The “sport chic” label from Annecy plans to triple its turnover in the next five years to reach the €150 million mark, 50% of which abroad.
by Patricia Rey
Fusalp store open in Luxembourg ©Fusalp