Posted by Suzanne Blecher on February 22, 2010 06:01 PM
Gucci Group CEO Robert Polet says that the show will go on. At an annual results presentation in Paris last week that opened with a video tribute to late designer Lee Alexander McQueen, Polet reinforced his faith in the future of the brand that Gucci Group owns a 51 percent stake in. Moving forward with the business would be the best testimony to his talent, he said, although adding that Lee is irreplaceable.
Reviving a brand after the death of a flamboyant founder has been a tough task to follow. Versace has yet to garner the same praise as it did with Gianni at helm and Valentino is on their second creative director since Mr. Valentino retired in 2008. His immediate successor, creative director Alessandra Facchinetti, famously learned of her firing through the press after Mr. Valentino had allegedly complained about Facchinetti's alleged lack of respect for his brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Suzanne Blecher on January 27, 2010 12:50 PM
Neiman Marcus hit the skids hard due to the recession. November 2009 store sales were down 12.7 percent over the previous year. The company cut jobs, trimmed inventories, and experienced heavy losses -- but the brand has yet to stray from its original mantra.
“We have no intention of changing our business model or trading down,” chief executive Burt Tansky told Wall Street analysts on a conference call last month. “It’s important to reiterate that we will continue to offer our customers the luxury and designer merchandise that they want to buy and, in fact, some of our best-selling merchandise is at the upper end of our price ranges.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on November 4, 2009 10:06 AM
Last week, Milan's Versace Group announced that it would cut 26% of its worldwide workforce and consolidate its operations in an effort to return to profitability by 2011. The fashion house has also made plans to close all three of its stores in Japan due to poor sales, though the company's business is successful elsewhere in East Asia.
“We’re reviewing in a comprehensive way the whole structure of the company,” Giangiacomo Ferraris, the chief executive, said by telephone. “Operating costs have been rising since 2006, and because of the economic situation we need to have a more flexible operation.”Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 8, 2009 11:21 AM
Luxury's turbulent ride through the harsh global economy continues, with Italian designer Versace the latest casualty. The company is closing all its boutiques in Japan, following Louis Vuitton, whose parent company abandoned plans to open a large store in Tokyo.
Luxury demand dropped 10% in Japan from 2007 to 2008, says the Yano Research Institute, and is expected to shrink again this year. This follows a global trend: A recent Bain report predicted luxury sales would fall 10% this year worldwide and 15% in the US.
The affluent consumers who helped luxury survive past recessions are turning away. A Luxury Institute survey found that 62% of the wealthy said they were changing their views on luxury purchases, with reasons ranging from being more budget-conscious to being more sensitive about appearances. At a Wharton School luxury panel last May, Roxanne Paschall, senior merchandise director at Bottega Veneta, observed: "It's a little bit gauche to be ostentatious with your purchasing. [Customers] don't want to flaunt."Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on October 8, 2009 07:11 AM
UK antitrust regulators oppose Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. [NY Times]
Alcoa reports first profit in 9 months, lifts Asian and European markets. [NY Times]
With no new cars to promote until mid-2010, new Ford ads (aimed at policymakers) tout innovation. [LA Times]
As Versace abandons market, analysts signal the end of luxury in Japan. [Times of London]
Hermes thrives in a "booming" Chinese market; US market is "slightly positive." [Bloomberg]
Kraft renames iSnack2.0 Vegemite "Cheesybite" after complaints. [Bloomberg]
Music industry relies on brand partnerships to finance marketing campaigns. [Bloomberg]
(More headlines: Starbucks sues Dunkin' exec; Wendy's, Estee Lauder campaigns.)Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on October 7, 2009 07:54 AM
Google, Verizon Wireless collaborate to develop software, devices and services for the Android mobile operating system. [BusinessWeek]
Amazon launches the Kindle in 100 countries, lowers US price by $40, to $259. [Bloomberg]
Versace reviews overall strategy, closes stores in Japan. [Bloomberg]
Europe and Microsoft near settlement in antitrust case. [NY Times]
AT&T will allow iPhone users to access Skype. [Bloomberg]
Twitter may feature premium accounts for corporate users by year's end. [LA Times]
(More headlines: Burger King remodels, ING repays bailout, ads boost US food brands.)Continue reading...
Posted by Laura Fitch on September 24, 2009 11:37 AM
Japan, once a haven for luxury brands where nearly every consumer had a designer purse, coat, or cell phone strap, is feeling the strain of the recession. The latest economic squeeze has Japanese people counting their yen and looking for cheap deals. According to the New York Times:
Retail analysts, economists and consumers all say that the change could be a permanent one. A new generation of Japanese fashionistas does not even aspire to luxury brands; they are happy to mix and match treasures found in a flurry of secondhand clothing stores that have sprung up across Japan.
Wal-Mart, under the Seiyu brand, is now posting profits after years of just barely breaking even in Japan. The Japanese are downscaling everything from food choices to clothing to beer, looking for the cheapest option. This marks a significant shift not just in the Japanese consumer, but for Japanese culture. Continue reading...