Gucci sales drop by 20% as economy slows in Asia

Gucci, under the ownership of Paris-based company Kering, is anticipated to experience a 20% decline in sales during the first quarter, primarily due to a slowdown in the Asian market. This contrasts with the resilience shown by competitors like LVMH and Hermès, whose sales have remained steady. Despite the luxury market’s growth over the past decade, recent years have seen less impressive sales figures.

Gucci heavily relies on sales from China, accounting for more than a third of its revenue, but the country’s economic challenges have impacted its performance. Kering specifically highlighted a significant drop in sales at Gucci, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, leading to a profit warning. The company is set to report its financial results on April 23rd. Gucci’s contribution to the group’s operating income was substantial last year, with Kering’s portfolio also including brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta.

Kering’s net profit for the previous year declined by 17%, and its shares have seen a decline of over 23% in the past year. In contrast, LVMH, a larger competitor, exceeded sales expectations for 2023. Hermès also boasted record sales last year and announced plans to reward all employees worldwide with a bonus.

Gucci’s target demographic comprises younger, aspirational consumers who may be more sensitive to economic fluctuations. To navigate these challenges, Kering appointed new leadership for Gucci, including a new CEO, Jean-François Palus, and creative director, Sabato De Sarno. The recently introduced Ancora collection has received positive feedback, according to Kering’s statement.

The introduction of Jean-François Palus as CEO and Sabato De Sarno as creative director signals a strategic shift for Gucci under Kering’s leadership. The Ancora collection, launched in mid-February, represents a key initiative in revitalizing the brand’s offerings and engaging its target audience.

Despite the current sales downturn, Kering remains focused on steering Gucci towards sustained growth and market resilience. The company’s efforts to adapt to evolving consumer preferences and economic conditions demonstrate a commitment to maintaining Gucci’s position as a leading luxury brand.

As Kering prepares to announce its financial results later this month, stakeholders will be closely monitoring Gucci’s performance and the effectiveness of its recent strategic changes. The luxury industry’s ability to weather challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities will continue to shape the competitive landscape in the months ahead.

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