As European demand for high-end clothing stagnated in the final quarter of the year, so did Hugo Boss's sales growth. After reporting a 9 percent lift in the third quarter last November, the German brand said Wednesday that its revenue grew just 5 percent in the final months of the fiscal year to €684 million, roughly $783 million.
For what it's worth, sales of Jason Wu's womenswear collection are still outpacing the rest of the brand, growth-wise. But sales for the full year rose only 6 percent — slightly less than analysts expected and the low end of the 6 to 8 percent bump the company said it was expecting in November. Back in July, Boss was predicting high single-digit sales growth, but the adverse macroeconomic environment and luxury slowdown in Europe led it to cut those expectations.
While the conditions in Europe may be slightly out of the company's hands, it is actively taking greater control of its situation in Asia and the Middle East. Ditching its franchise model in those regions, Hugo Boss will now be directly managing its business in Korea, the Middle East and China.
The goal? To achieve "extensive brand control" and strengthen brand perception globally, says Hugo Boss CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs.
The company will be announcing its full-year results for fiscal 2014, along with its outlook for 2015, in mid-March. Something to look forward to post-Fashion Month.