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A Sydney Start-Up’s Journey To Global Markets

By FedEx | December 14, 2021

A homegrown Sydney SME has taken a popular lifestyle brand from local street market beginnings to retail across international markets.

From humble beginnings at an artisanal street market in 2005, Papinelle – an ethically driven Sydney sleepwear start-up – is now a popular fashion and lifestyle brand in Australia and beyond. Founder and CEO Renae James started Papinelle straight out of university at the Paddington Markets in Sydney.

“I specialised in print design and received amazing feedback early on,” shares Renae. “Two years later I opened the Papinelle store on Oxford Street in Sydney where it still proudly stands.”

Dare to dream

Following a successful decade-long journey building the brand in Australia with a series of floral feminine sleepwear, Papinelle decided to test the waters in the U.S. in 2015. Renae noticed that the demand from that market was unexpectedly strong.

“We saw a positive response from new international markets. There was an incredible appetite for loungewear and sleepwear that was not only ethically-produced, but also comfortable and fashionable,” said Renae.

This led Papinelle to open a dedicated Direct to Customer (D2C) website for the U.S. Selecting a reliable logistics partner is one of the most important decisions an SME has to make - a vital part of the business’ success. Papinelle selected FedEx as we were one of the most recognizable household names in that market.

Renae notes that business owners expanding internationally face a new set of rewards and challenges. This is especially true as the logistics landscape becomes increasingly complex, and businesses must find shipping solutions that meet time and safety expectations of international customers – who want to receive their orders quickly and without disruption.

“Papinelle was able to penetrate the U.S. market thanks to the FedEx network, which has particularly strong reach in North America. The ability to deliver to all zip codes in the U.S. means FedEx can ensure Papinelle’s customers receive their packages in the least amount of time,” said Renae.

Loungewear is the new workwear

Adding to the brand’s success more recently, the global shift to remote work across many industries acted as a tailwind for Papinelle, bringing with it a large opportunity for further growth domestically and globally.

Loungewear sales have grown multi-fold since 2020. In 2021, the global loungewear market is estimated to generate 37.7 billion U.S. dollars in retail sales.

With a global surge in demand for loungewear that is both fashionable and comfortable, Papinelle continues to rely on FedEx to ensure its customers receive their orders seamlessly and efficiently.

Dreams do come true

During the early stages of entering new markets, undisrupted cross border reach is crucial for growing businesses. The extensive network FedEx has helps Papinelle maintain business continuity and achieve seamless delivery experiences across its brick and mortar and online stores.

According to Renae, maintaining desirable customer experience while managing increasing volumes is an important consideration for small business owners operating across international markets.

“Customers expect a better experience than ever when shopping with you, including after they have gone through checkout. The delivery is as much a part of the customer’s experience of your brand, as your digital platforms and shipping options are,” said Renae.

Renae said that access to FedEx® Delivery Manager has allowed her to focus on running her business, leaving the logistics management to FedEx.

“I’ve found that FedEx® Delivery Manager offers two crucial advantages to our customers: proactive tracking and flexible delivery options,” said Renae. “My customers find it convenient to change their delivery address or specify a new delivery timeframe. They are happy about the visibility they have on their eagerly awaited packages from Papinelle. Overall, this leads to a good customer experience and gives our buyers more reasons to order again from us.”

Renae also notes that another potentially overwhelming aspect of international logistics is complex paperwork.

“We use FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents which makes completing paperwork for shipping easy. It helps us easily upload our trade documents for clearance and also helps reduce printed copies. We’ve found that it has helped reduce backlogs and costs,” said Renae.

“Our logistics partnership with FedEx has really delivered value for our business and helped us ensure the best experience for our customers, end-to-end.”

As an ally for small and medium businesses, we remain committed to the growth of SMEs. Enabling SMEs to compete and win in the dynamic e-commerce marketplace is crucial. Delivering tailored solutions is part of helping small businesses thrive in an ever-changing world. For more information on these solutions, visit our e-commerce page here.
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