Kering Q3: Gucci, gold star. YSL, gold star. Bottega Veneta, must do better

Gucci Resort/pre-summer 2017

Gucci Resort/pre-summer 2017

Kering’s Q3 sales figures are out and what have we learned? Gucci’s doing well, no make that GREAT. And Saint Laurent is doing even better for the luxury conglomerate that’s the one to watch these days, even though it used to be a little dull compared to rival LMVH.

But not any more. It’s got a basket of brands to lust after and at least two of them are storming ahead. And the rest? Most are up, but poor old Bottega Veneta is struggling. The brand that once seemed appealingly understated now seems to be in the shadow of its superstar stablemates. But Kering has a plan (more of that later).

So, Gucci (which accounts for 60% of Kering’s operating profits) saw its comp sales up 17% while YSL was up an even bigger 33.9%. Kerching!

Overall sales for the group rose 10% to €3.185bn while the luxury division rose 12% to €2.115bn.

YSL2

Saint Laurent AW16, pictures courtesy Vogue Runway

At Gucci, sales rose in all product categories and regions (only Japan didn’t get invited to the party) with comp sales in directly operated stores surging 19%. What sold well? It looks like everything did: womenswear, menswear, shoes (an emerging star category for the brand). And its bags really shifted. The GG Marmont, Sylvie and Dionysus bags all proved to be top sellers.

So the Alessandro Michele sun is still shining, that’s very clear. But there’s more to it than that, of course with things like digital helping. In Q3 the company forged digital partnerships with artists (for the GucciGhost product line and the #24HourAce initiative), offered up capsule collections sold exclusively online (Gucci Garden) and saw e-comm sales up 50%.

Gucci-Pre-Fall-2016-Campaign03

Gucci pre-fall 2016 campaign

Now to Saint Laurent, where the story was pretty similar with multiple categories and multiple regions soaring. The Sunset Monogramme handbag sold well, as did the “permanent collections” and YSL did well bon in stores and online with e-comm sales almost doubling.

Of course, the brand is entering a new phases following the departure of Hedi Slimane and the arrival of Anthony Vaccarello so let’s hope keying will be saying something similar this time next year.

Brands like Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga all did well too with growth of around 10% each. But Bottega Veneta was the kid at the back of the class this quarter, its revenue falling 10.9% on a comps basis and 9.3% in total.

stella anchor

Stella McCartney AW16

What went wrong? Kering blamed the tourism slowdown in the mature markets of Western Europe and Japan. But the brand has an action plan that involves boosting its leathergoods offer with new intrecciato leather pieces. And Bottega (like Kering’s other brands) has boosted its footwear offer as that’s a real growth opportunity for the company at the moment.

So all in all, those were sales results to impress. In a luxury sector that’s generally sluggish at present, it’s clear that some brands are turning out the be winners, which is obviously denting market share for some other famous names. This is certainly Kering’s time to shine.

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