I, one of the world’s biggest luxury brands in terms of sales, yesterday posted its weakest growth in four years with a 0.6 per cent rise in like-for-like revenue in the third quarter.
Gucci, which accounts for more than half of the valuation of parent Kering, has been hit like arch-rival LVMH’s Louis Vuitton by lower Asian demand and disruptions linked to efforts to reposition itself more upmarket.
“The performance of Gucci is due to a consumer environment in China that has become more negative and the brand’s move upmarket which has led to lower volumes of entry-price leather goods,” Kering chief finance officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said.
Suffering from being seen as too ubiquitous, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are seeking to strengthen their high-end offering with fewer logo-embossed goods and a greater variety of expensive leather bags.
Duplaix said no-logo handbags such as the Bamboo Shopper now made up 55 per cent of total Gucci leather goods sales against 35 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, while the average handbag price was 10 per cent higher.
Kering’s total luxury sales rose 5.6 per cent like-for-like in the third quarter, below analyst estimates of seven to eight per cent.