The first Cath Kidston shop was in London’s Holland Park in 1994, selling hand-embroidered textiles and brightly renovated furniture. Cath Kidston’s cheerful print designs were applied to a wider range of products and the popularity of the distinctive oil-cloth bags was a particular conduit for growth.
In 2010, Pragma conducted diligence to support the sale of a majority stake of the company to private equity investors TA Associates. In 2014 the business was backed by Baring Private Equity Asia.
The brand has become an established part of the UK retail landscape. Now, over twenty years on, there are over 70 shops in the UK and 120 international stores, with particular strength in the Asian market (over 30 outlets in Japan alone).
Over the course of the ongoing expansion, Cath Kidston has engaged Pragma on a number of projects to support their strategy, including regular tracking of brand health, store and product concept testing and evaluation of overseas expansion opportunities.
Pragma has also worked with the business to test the proposition among Japanese and French consumers to inform the market entry for these territories. The work covered ranging recommendations based on qualitative customer focus groups, store exit surveys and online surveys.
Closer to home, and more recently, the challenge has been to evolve strategy, as the brand has moved from niche to high street, to effectively align the proposition with the wants and needs of a broader audience.
Deep evaluation of the brand positioning from a dynamic and evolving consumer perspective
A regular customer insight programme across core markets, UK and Japan, to provide an understanding on customer profiles, attitudes and behaviours and assessing brand perceptions over time
Detailed analysis of the dynamics of the French and Japanese market, customer, competitors and consideration of operational support
Primary qualitative consumer research focussed on understanding reactions to new product and store concepts
Pragma’s work was excellent. They gave us a comprehensive insight into our customer and provided a framework on how to plan for our future range.
Pragma value an ongoing strategic relationship with the senior team, and conducts a bi-annual tracking programme to measure performance across the target audience, as well as working with the business to inform and support progress.