French Connection to re-engage young shoppers

Fashion retailer French Connection is seeking to re-engage with younger consumers and encourage customers to shop more frequently, after market research by Nunwood found most visit a store only twice in a six-month season.


The retailer began a repositioning exercise two years ago to move away from negative perceptions associated with its FCUK brand and this is the first time French Connection has conducted market research into its customer base.

Marketing and PR director Will Woodhams told Marketing Week that the brand is seeking to re-engage with young consumers who had come to see the range as unfashionable.

“They were coming to us for a statement piece but that was it. They were doing their other shopping elsewhere. Superdry today is constantly being compared with French Connection in the sense of this boom and bust. You have got one thing and you are flogging it,” he says.

The moves accompany the retailer’s strategy of adopting more premium product lines and pricing, which has seen value sales increase in the UK and driven growth in emerging markets, according to Woodhams. He says that middle-class consumers in China are seeing French Connection as a more affordable alternative as they spend less on luxury goods.

The brand has no plans to follow other UK high street retailers in offering heavy discounts or mid-season sales, focusing on products around the £100 price point rather than mass market or “fast fashion” offerings, adds Woodhams, previously at luxury goods group LVMH.

He says: “As far as I can see, we are running fewer discounts through the season than Harrods.”

Read a Q&A with Marketing and PR director Will Woodhams from this week’s Marketing Week issue here

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here