Canadian retail giant Point Zero looks to Australia – here are five of its strategy secrets

Another international retail giant is planning to set up shop in Australia with Canadian retailer Point Zero announcing plans to open its first Australian concept store at the end of this year.


Point Zero has plans for 10 more stores in Australia and the launch of the clothing and accessories brand here follows the success of other international fashion brands in Australia, including British high street store TopShop and Spanish clothing brand Zara.


Point Zero started in Montreal, Canada and began to expand around the world three years ago. It has franchises in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Panama and South America.


Australia makes up just one part of Point Zero’s expansion strategy with the brand aiming to open another 120 retail stores worldwide over the next three years.


“The strength of our brand and the growth of Point Zero worldwide, is due to our strong advertising and marketing campaigns and our capability to produce consistent, quality products that satisfy our loyal customer and franchise owners,” said president and owner of Point Zero, Maurice Benisti, in a statement to mark the launch.


“We take the best and make it better and if something doesn’t exist we will create it.”


Here are five approaches to business which will give Point Zero an edge on Australian retailers.


1. Collaborating with hot brands


Point Zero is talking to Apple about selling iPods and iPads in the Australian Point Zero concept store. Point Zero plans to create a mini store within its own premises selling Apple products and accessories.


“We think it fits really with the concept of Point Zero because they are quite similar,” Australian Point Zero representative Simona Satra told SmartCompany. “The design would fit really well.”


2. Positioning as a lifestyle rather than just a retail brand


The retailer has moved beyond its origins as a clothing brand.


In Montreal, Point Zero helped develop an exclusive gated community where the entire development quickly sold out.


Point Zero partnered a local television station and created a hit reality TV show called Occupation Double, in which a group of women and men living in two houses in an exclusive community – called “Point Zero sur le Lac” or ‘Point Zero on the Lake’ – compete in a dating style show to win a house in the development.


Point Zero is now involved in developing a hotel in Montreal where everything, from furniture to toiletries, will be Point Zero branded.


3. Keeping costs down by using factories in Asia


Point Zero uses factories in Asia, India and Bangladesh to keep costs down.


A shirt that might cost $US85 or $US90 in other stores would sell at Point Zero for $US45 to $US50 as a result.


4. Keeping an eye on process control to allow flexibility


Process control gives Point Zero the flexibility to tailor stock to suit local customers.


It sells skinny jeans in the South American market but stock is limited elsewhere and it does not sell orange or green coloured clothing in the Middle East for political reasons.


5. Using Australia as a launching pad for Asia.


Point Zero plans to use Australia as a launching pad to expand into Asia.


The retailer sees Australia as the logical starting point for its stores in the region as it believes Australia has similar cultural and lifestyle values to Canada. If the Australian stores are a success, Point Zero plans to open up in New Zealand as well.


This story first appeared on SmartCompany.


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