Gucci have announced a double digit boost in sales for Q3, with sales up 17% from 2015 – the first time they’ve posted double digit percentage sales increases since 2012 – helping the Kering group achieve a 10.5% organic growth for the quarter.
While the Italian giants’ performance has been inconsistent in recent years, with disappointing sales figures under Frida Gianni and Patrizio Di Marco in 2013 and 2015, today’s figures were described by Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault as ‘[the] foundation for steady, sustainable growth’. Many will be hoping that this signifies a new chapter for the brand which has been experiencing a self-described ‘creative reinvention’ under Alessandro Michele.
Pinault attributed Gucci’s “sharp acceleration” to “the relevance of [their] strategy and the effectiveness of its execution”. It appears that investment into e-commerce played a large part in that, with Gucci’s ‘innovative digital strategy’ translating into bumper sales.
“Our excellent sales in the third quarter underscore the relevance of our strategy and the effectiveness of its execution. In a complex environment, we stepped up the pace of revenue growth and continued to gain market share”
François-Henri Pinault, Kering CEO
Much of this can be attributed to Michele and the large focus he’s put on digital engagement, including an overhaul of their e-commerce sites and the addition of new content marketing hub ‘The Agenda’ which provides a behind-the-scenes look at their shows, collections and products. The introduction of exclusive online-only capsule collections, as well as ‘acclaimed partnerships’, helped sales from Gucci’s e-commerce site grow by ‘more than 50%’ during the quarter.
Gucci have a stable online presence in 2016, enjoying a 5.3% share of the online luxury market – the fifth highest share after Louis Vuitton, Coach, Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren. They gained nearly 5m followers to their Instagram account between 2015 and 2016, as well as adding over 1.5m Twitter followers and 700,000 likes on Facebook, putting their social media performance for 2016 ahead of the likes of Prada, Coach and Armani but behind Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
This can be put down to innovative collaborations which have helped increase the brands’ visibility whilst promoting a dynamic and forward-thinking image.
Their collaboration with GucciGhost represents an innovative shift for notoriously overprotective luxury brands. While Louis Vuitton and Burberry fiercely protect their trademarks, Gucci have accepted and encouraged GucciGhost’s work to the point of plastering it on their stores. GucciGhosts’ graffiti inspired designs and his penchant for customisation has infused Gucci with a sense of streetwear credibility, making the brand more visible, and more relevant, to a younger demographic.
Kering’s announcement also included news of a 33.9% increase of sales at YSL and a drop at Bottega Veneta. Mentions of Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga were fleeting, though Kering confirmed each posted growth of around 10% or more to contribute to a to a 2.5% comparable lift in the Groups’ ‘Other Luxury brands’ category.