Gucci cuts into London luxury as its bosses quit London for Switzerland

GUCCI Group’s chief executive Robert Polet has struck a blow to the UK’s standing in the world luxury goods market by quitting London for Switzerland.

Polet, whose group includes high end fashion labels like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, is relocating from Grafton Street, off Berkeley Square, to Cadempino, Switzerland, along with chief operating officer Alexis Babeau. The group’s human resources, legal and IT departments will remain in London.

A Gucci Group spokesman said the move made strategic sense because Switzerland is closer to key markets in Paris, Milan and Florence.

Yesterday Gucci Group would not comment on reports that Polet was keen to move because of the £30,000 annual levy per head on foreign, non-domiciled residents in the UK. The group would not say whether the Dutch-born chief is domiciled in the UK, but sources close to the firm told City A.M. a figure that size would be unlikely to affect such a decision.

Gucci, owned by French conglomerate PPR, moved its corporate headquarters to London in 1998.