La Tigre fashion retailer opening $500K flagship store in Ciudadela
Reinventing and looking for new ways to serve a new generation of consumers in Puerto Rico and around the world, La Tigre company had invested more than $500,000 on a new flagship store in Ciudadela in Santurce, and visualizing a prosperous clientele for its new extension of the Casa Alberghini brand.
La Tigre’s strategic and ambitious post-pandemic plan includes an expansion of its Made-To Order offering to include shoes and women’s clothing, a new e-commerce platform, and a lifestyle concept that features European outdoor furniture and home décor items.
The new flagship store in Ciudadela is expected to open in fall 2021. The location will accommodate a tailor shop, spacious fitting-rooms, a coffee bar, rooms for personalized image consultations, and displays of its exclusive line patio furniture originating from France called Fermob.
The company that has been in business in Puerto Rico since 2016, is looking to position itself as the island’s “premier source for luxury clothing and lifestyle,” said fashion entrepreneur Mario Alberghini, the owner of La Tigre.
Since opening his first La Tigre store in San Juan, he has become familiar with resilience and the challenges as an entrepreneur. When Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane María in 2017, he had to relocate the store, and in many ways, start over in a new location. Then, the COVID-19 struck La Tigre again with the cancellation of most social gatherings.
“Although the past five years have been defined by circumstantial hardships, they have also provided us with a sense of resilience that is now sewn into the DNA of our business,” said Alberghini, who’s a graduate of Bologna Business School, and earned his menswear experience in retail starting at local chain Clubman/Le Club, and later at the showrooms of Canali and Zanella in New York.
Now, La Tigre has decided to broaden its reach to include the kind of clothing Alberghini envisions a new generation of professionals will embrace in a post-pandemic decade. And he is doing so by offering Made-to-Order programs, which play perfectly into the narrative of sustainability favored by younger consumers, as only what will be used is produced, he said.
The new store in Ciudadela will create five new jobs in the areas of sales and management of both the physical space, and its soon-to-launch e-commerce platform, and content generation for its growing social media presence, he said.
For Alberghini, the pandemic presented an opportunity to examine the future of the industry and focus on its areas of opportunity.
“When we first opened our doors, we were only carrying sportswear collections out of Italy. But within the first year, we realized we had to tackle the desire for customization and lower price points if we wanted to get the attention of guys in their mid-30s to mid-40s, who are used to shopping online and experience in mass-market retailers,” he said.
When asked about the current state of dressing while many are “WFH” (Working from Home) during the pandemic, Alberghini said “People’s mindset with regards to how they dress is also changing: What else can you do with a pair of sweatpants and still keep it fresh? Do you really want to show up in sweatpants to meet someone who has not seen you in two years, when the pandemic is over? I don’t think so, and our customers don’t seem to think so either.”
“Our target consumer is mainly shopping for clothes online, but they are bombarded by content and promotional sales from big retailers to a level that it is hard to find that special item that really captures their imagination. It ultimately adds value to the physical shopping experience, and the guidance we are able to offer,” Alberghini said.
La Tigre will enter the women’s fashion segment, with an offer of “resort” collection and sports shoes, both of Italian manufacture, and an executive fashion “made to measure” service including two- and three-piece suits, as well as dresses in styles aimed at the professional woman who values individuality and quality in their clothing. The offer includes a wide range of high-quality fabrics, from internationally renowned houses.
In the field of men’s fashion, La Tigre has seen double-digit increases in demand for personalized fashion, particularly in classic styles of suits, labels, jackets, and shirts aimed at both the professional man and the marriage segment.
Based on this trend, La Tigre will also inaugurate a personalized footwear service, made in Italy, which will give your customers the possibility of designing their own footwear between a wide range of styles and variables to choose from, maintaining fidelity to the principles of high-quality traditional manufacturing.