Turning a page on its past as a retail-driven conglomerate, PPR said it is changing its name to Kering, effective June 18. The change in name and visual identity comes as the publicly traded French group, controlled by the Pinault family, nears the completion of its transformation to a fashion and accessories specialist in the luxury and sport/lifestyle segments. Speaking at a press conference, CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said the name has its roots in the Brittany region of France, and connotes a house or foyer. Pinault also unveiled a new logo - a stylized owl with a heart-shaped face - and tagline, "Empowering Imagination."
PPR, originally an acronym for Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, began edging out of its roots in retail in 2006 when it sold the Printemps retail chain, following up with a stock market listing for African trading company CFAO in 2009 and a sale of the Conforama furniture chain to Steinhoff International in 2010. The group expects to sell La Redoute, the last major chunk of the Redcats catalog empire, by the end of this year.
The origins of the company stretch back to 1963, when Francois Pinault established the building materials firm Pinault SA. It went public in 1988 and began acquiring retail banners in the Nineties, transitioning to luxury in 1999 with an investment in Gucci Group.
Today, its luxury division includes Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Sergio Rossi, Brioni, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard, with Qeelin and Christopher Kane its latest acquisitions. Its nascent sport/lifestyle division is centered on Puma, and also includes the brands Volcom, Tretorn and Electric.