As our co-editor Lauren Indvik pointed out on Thursday, Gucci's fall 2014 collection steered clear of the overt sexiness that the brand is known for, either a creative choice on the part of Frida Gianni or a commercial play for a more mature crowd. The company's poor sales figures in 2013, released in Kering's annual report Friday, may make a case for the latter.
Among Kering's luxury brands, Gucci revenue sunk 2.1 percent in 2013 to €3.56 billion, while Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent grew by 7.5 and 17.8 percent, respectively. Gucci is Kering's largest luxury house by a significant margin, bringing in over three times the revenue of Bottega Veneta and six times that of Saint Laurent. Overall, Kering's luxury division grew by 4.4 percent since last year.
As WSJ reports, Gucci's downturn could be due to a more widespread loss of sales in China caused by the country's new anti-corruption campaign banning gifts. Gucci, however, was particularly tied to the practice. Leather goods account for 58 percent of the brand's sales.
During 2013, Kering acquired majority and minority stakes in Christopher Kane and Altuzarra, respectively.
Kering also saw a downturn in revenue from its sport and lifestyle division, but it's looking to turn that around in 2014 with what the company is calling "an ambitious relaunch plan for Puma." We'll be looking to see how that manifests in the next year, although we have a sneaking suspicion it's going to have something to do with the FIFA World Cup in June. As WSJ points out, Puma has lost focus on its athletic clothing in recent years, something that it will likely bring front and center this spring.