Kering, the French luxury group, experienced a slowdown in revenue growth from its flagship brand Gucci in the third quarter of 2021. However, its other brands, notably Saint Laurent, continue to thrive. Saint Laurent reported impressive growth with revenues reaching 659.2 million euros, an increase of 27.8% compared to the previous year or 28.1% on a comparable basis. In comparison to the third quarter of 2019, before the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the brand achieved an even more remarkable sales increase of 32%.

The sales network directly operated by Saint Laurent, which contributes 66% to the brand’s total revenues, experienced a significant acceleration with a 31% increase compared to the third quarter of 2020 and a 37% rise compared to the same period two years ago. The brand’s robust growth was particularly noteworthy in North America, where sales soared by 75%, and in Europe, where growth reached 35% despite the absence of tourists. Saint Laurent’s success in these regions can be attributed to its well-established presence and targeted communication efforts.

Moreover, the brand witnessed sales growth of 2% in its retail network in Asia, 1% in Japan, and an impressive 37% in the rest of the world. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for 22% of Saint Laurent’s total revenues, highlighting the brand’s expanding store network and growing popularity among local customers. Japan represented 4% of the brand’s revenues. These positive results in the Asia-Pacific region emphasize the increasing fame of the brand and its potential for further expansion.

In terms of wholesale revenues, Saint Laurent saw a 22% increase in the third quarter, largely driven by the delivery of its Fall 2021 womenswear collection. The brand is actively working towards making its wholesale distribution even more exclusive. All product categories experienced significant growth compared to the third quarter of 2019, with ready-to-wear attracting more local customers, carry-overs selling well, and new products also gaining success. Overall, it was a fruitful quarter for Saint Laurent, thanks to effective local communication and the brand’s distinctive style.

Saint Laurent has enjoyed continuous and balanced growth in recent years, with a slightly higher market penetration in certain regions. The opening of new stores has played a role in this growth, but organic expansion has been strong across all regions compared to 2019. Apart from Gucci and Bottega Veneta, Kering’s other brands also performed exceptionally well in the third quarter, generating total revenues of 843.7 million euros, a significant increase of 26% from the same period in 2020.

Balenciaga, in particular, greatly influenced Kering’s overall growth. Despite being primarily distributed through multibrand retailers and e-commerce, the brand has achieved the same level of success as Bottega Veneta. The relaunch of Balenciaga’s Haute Couture collection after a 53-year hiatus, under the guidance of designer Demna Gvasalia, has significantly impacted consumer perception. Balenciaga has successfully expanded beyond its reliance on sneakers and casual pieces, witnessing increased sales in formal shoes, ready-to-wear, and leather goods.

Overall, Kering’s brands have demonstrated impressive performance in the third quarter of 2021, with Saint Laurent and Balenciaga emerging as notable standouts for their remarkable growth. Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic in the luxury market, these brands have effectively adapted their strategies and capitalized on their unique offerings to achieve positive outcomes. As Kering continues to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the luxury industry, the success of its diverse brand portfolio remains a crucial driving force for the group’s overall growth and resilience.

Useful links:
1. Kering Official Website
2. Saint Laurent Official Website