Explosive Gucci Growth is "Sustainable," Not Just Driven By "Notoriously Fad-Led" Millennials

Following that blow-out party on paper that was Kering's full year revenue report in February, in which it touted 2017 as its “most profitable year ever,” the Paris-based conglomerate that owns Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen, amongst other brands, is holding on to its momentum with what is being described as “booming sales growth” for the first three months of 2018.

According to Kering’s report, Gucci enjoyed even more “spectacular growth” with revenue up a whopping 48.7 compared to this time last year and with online sales more than doubling in the first quarter. Gucci’s online sales gains were led by the U.S., Kering said.

As reported by Reuters, “Gucci overhauled its product range and store designs as part of its reboot – measures other brands like Britain’s Burberry are bringing in as they pursue growth – and the Italian label is set to update investors on its targets in early June.”

Reuters further noted that in regards to Gucci, which has been busy courting millennial consumers with its buzzy t-shirts, bags, and shoes, and its marked grandma-chic aesthetic, “analysts have questioned whether consumers might tire of Gucci’s distinct look, though Kering Chief Finance Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said Gucci’s growth was sustainable and the brand was not just reliant on notoriously fad-led younger buyers.”

Other houses under the Kering umbrella, such as Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, have experienced “very strong growth,” with “exceptional momentum from Balenciaga,” according to the first qurter report.

As for Saint Laurent, Kering noted that under the watch of Anthony Vaccarello, the brand experienced a “sales increase” of 19.6 percent for rat first quarter. Speaking of Saint Laurent early this year, Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said that the brand “is on a rapid growth track. However, more recently, veteran fashion journalist, Christina Binkley reflected on the YSL-specific number, asking on Twitter on Tuesday: “Is YSL losing its edge?”

“Kering’s first quarter revenue growth was spectacular, driven by Gucci’s meteoric 38% rise and its 'other' houses' 31% increase. But don't be fooled,” she continued.  “[Saint Laurent's] growth – just 12% – isn't what it was under [Vaccarello's predecessor] Hedi Slimane, despite massive industry support.”

Nonetheless, Kering called attention to the "fast pace" at which YSL is growing and "the new lines," which alongside the brand's permanent collections, are being extremely well received."