Kering Group President François-Henri Pinault says the luxury group is ready and committed to making the change as it announces the development of Gucci, one of its digital developers. top, after two years of poor performance.
When LVMH Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault said he was wary of the “bubble”, Kering’s Pinault was looking ahead. “What’s going to happen? It’s too early to say. We’ve been very diligent. We’ll see if it’s worth it later. this “, he said during the press conference. Pinault noted that the change was already true in the art world. “Could it be the world in a wider industrial environment? I think it will. It will become time and the consequences affect.”
Asked by Vogue Marketing how much the group has contributed to the types of businesses entering the metaverse, Pinault revealed that the group has developed a dedicated team for Web 3.0 and metaverse, led by new director Amélie Lemoine. In addition, both Gucci and Balenciaga have a dedicated team for the 3.0 site. “We are in the very beginning. Nothing is certain: it can not be done, “Pinault said.” But the group’s idea when it comes to new developments – is not to wait and see, which is usually the way to go. beauty at home – is to try and learn. “
Pinault refers to three types of metaverse term for luxury conglomerate. The first is NFTs connected to physical devices. The second is virtual devices. “” We can only think of virtual groups. Are they designers related to our environment, such as clothing, shoes? Maybe, but it could be something else, “Pinault said. ) And the third is smart contracts that can help different types of businesses, for example, benefit from the middle class. “The idea of a million dollars in virtual goods is something completely new. Today, when you resell an item, the house gets nothing. However, we have IP “Tomorrow, because there is a smart contract attached to it, part of the sale will go to the brand.”
He was cautious, however, because of the early skepticism. “We created NFT with Gucci [e Superplastic]. I have one in my Metamask wallet. Within an hour of release, it cost $ 50,000. It is now around $ 4,000. That’s why you have to be careful before you jump, but something happens. “
Other uncertainties, including the acceptance of cryptocurrencies, depend on Pinault. “One of the hallmarks of Web 3.0 is that the data will be accessible to users,” he said. “This will affect CRM and thus e-commerce will [a Web 3.0] become a reality. VR and AR technology, while becoming a reality on a larger scale, will change the design of websites. In the short term, should we accept or reject cryptocurrencies on our website? We have hired a professional who works for him. There are major laws and tax decisions. “
Gucci has become a new leader in exchange, with NFTs, the web 3.0 platform available. like Roblox and Discord, and the virtual world planned in the Sandbox. The target said revenue growth was up 32% in the fourth quarter, boosting expectations. Sales were up 18% compared to the same period in 2019. Western Europe and the US took gains, up 58% and 53%, respectively.
In February last year, Pinault announced plans to trade for Gucci during a recession; after investing in high-end products, events and industries, including a partnership with Balenciaga. The Aria collection, at a higher price point than usual for Gucci, marked a turning point in the strategy.
“Gucci is a century house with all the hallmarks of a girl,” Pinault said during a news conference after a business call. Bernstein analyst Luca Solca wrote in a statement: “This match is significant because it breaks down some quarters of the peer pressure.
In 2021, Kering revenue rose 35% over 2020 to € 17.64 billion and 13% over 2019. Saint Laurent rose 47% in the fourth quarter, Bottega Veneta rose 14% and Other Homes, which includes Balenciaga and Alexander. McQueen, jumped 34%. Kering total retail sales increased in the US and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) by 82% and 37%, respectively, in the fourth quarter compared to 2019. Europe was still lower than before. there is a spread, with 4%. “We were in full swing and our entire home was helping us to be strong performers,” said Pinault. The company is still looking for findings, he noted, including in the product market.
Kering joins LVMH and other luxury companies in the general industry. LVMH fashion and leather apparel sales will increase 42% in 2021 compared to 2019, with growth in US and Asia led by Louis Vuitton and Dior brands.
“While it is too early to conclude on the success of Gucci’s ‘new venue’ of growth, the gap between Gucci’s growing stores and top friends has narrowed – a bright spot bitter, “Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet told Vogue Business.
The article was first published in Vogue Business