[CES 2019] With Parade Connect and E-Vone, Parade wants to establish itself in the connected shoe market

[ONE DAY, ONE START-UP] Parade, the French leader in safety footwear, is also attacking connected objects. In addition to its historic market, Eram’s subsidiary also targets seniors. The start-up will exhibit its products a second time at CES 2019 from January 8 to 11 in Las Vegas.

© Parade

Already present at the CES in 2018, Parade goes back to Las Vegas in January 2019 with Business France. The company, a subsidiary of the Cholet group Eram, will formalize the commercial launch of two lines of connected shoes: Parade Connect and E-Vone. With the same technological base, Parade (130 employees — € 27 million in sales) targets two very different markets: that of the safety shoe, where it is already leader of its market in France, and seniors where it also intends to become a major actor.
 
THE CES, A GOOD TEST
“In 2018 at the CES, we were able to validate the concept and the interest in our products, from the tech ecosystem to the journalists, and we have had media impact on our two ranges for more than six months”, explains Franck Chérel, the president of Parade. Since January 2018 when she presented prototypes, the company refined its commercial offer, its technical choices and prepared the industrialization of the first models. Initially, the commercial launch was planned in the summer of 2018. “The exchanges we had at CES and other shows, have reinforced our position, but some steps have taken longer than expected,” said Franck Chérel.

FIVE REGISTERED PATENTS
Technically, safety shoes like those for seniors are relatively similar. “We have simply adapted the fall detection algorithm to the needs of the elderly,” says Franck Chérel, who collaborated with the Pays de la Loire Gerontopole. Five patents have been filed. The sole incorporates a system of detection of falls and immobility based on several motion sensors.

Autonomous thanks to a watch battery, the device is recyclable and reintroduced into new shoes. The electronic module includes a gyroscope, an accelerometer and a presence sensor. The detection of an abnormal situation triggers an alert to a third party. “For the French market, we have opted for the Lora technology, but are working on a second communication module with another technology for the other European markets,” says Franck Chérel.

CONNECTED SHOES MADE IN FRANCE
Parade claims Made in France shoes, which it will highlight at CES 2019 from its French prospects. Shoes will be manufactured at its Jarzé plant in Maine-et-Loire. “The technological development was done in Angers, the electronic assembly is driven by Lacroix still in Maine-et-Loire and the application was developed between Rennes and Nantes”, details the president of Parade.

In terms of design, Parade has declined its shoes in several models: 20 for E-vone in two collections for women and men, and 10 models for Parade Connect. “This allows us to adapt to the needs of all sectors in terms of safety shoes,” he adds. The shoes will be available in February 2019 for Parade Connect and from March for E-Vone.
 
DIFFERENT MARKETING NETWORKS
Commercially, the offer will be similar in both markets. “The shoes will be coupled with a panel of subscription services, which includes alerts, but also a new pair of shoes every year,” continues Franck Chérel. For E-Vone, the subscription is fixed at 35 € per month. It will be between 35 and 40 € depending on the technical nature of the shoe for Parade Connect. Only the distribution channels will be different.

For Parade Connect, the company will rely, in BtoB, on its historical dealer network. For E-Vone, Parade will set up two distribution axes. “In BtoC, we will market it in pharmacies and drugstores, in footwear and live on our website,” he explains. But the brand also put in BtoBtoC, on specifiers such as mutuals and insurance companies or teleassistance companies. Parade expects to have validated its commercial strategy in France, before tackling the export first in Germany, but also on the American market.