Christian Dior SA is the world’s largest fashion group, according to Forbes’ Global 2000 list. With $49 billion in revenue for 2017, the annual list of “the world’s biggest and most powerful public companies, as measured by a composite score of revenues, profits, assets and market value” puts Christian Dior SA, the company that owns 46 percent of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (and that is distinct from the Dior Couture brand which it owns), in the number 150 position, following the likes of financial institutions, big-pharma companies, consumer goods behemoths like P&G and Apple, and Amazon, of course.
While the Forbes list states that it is Christian Dior that brought in $49 billion in revenue for 2017, it is worth noting that “Christian Dior” is being used to denote the Christian Dior SA group, as Dior, the brand, alone, did not sell nearly $50 billion in fragrances, bags, and “We Should All Be Feminists” t-shirts in one year. In fact, in January, LVMH – the parent to Dior Couture, as well as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Celine, and Loewe, among nearly 70 other fashion and non-fashion brands – reported record-breaking annual sales of $49 billion for the 2017 fiscal year.
You may recall that Dior made headlines in April 2017 when LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault made a $13 billion bid to bring the long-affiliated but technically separate fashion brand under the umbrella of his luxury goods conglomerate. (To complicate things further, despite Dior Couture being under the LVMH umbrella, Christian Dior SA – which is owned by Groupe Arnault, Bernard Arnault’s family holding company – holds a 46 percent stake in LVMH, making it the entity that appears in the Forbes list).
Arnault, who has expanded LVMH to include dozens of leading luxury brands – from yacht makers and spirits brands to Louis Vuitton, Hermès (Arnault still holds a small stake following the parties’ showdown in 2014), Givenchy, Celine and Loewe – is said to have initiated the deal to “simplify the corporate structure” of Christian Dior Couture and LVMH, including reuniting Christian Dior Couture and Christian Dior Perfumes under one umbrella.
LVMH’s $49 billion revenue figure enabled it to beat out Inditex, the Spanish retail giant behind Zara, for the title of the largest retailer in the apparel, accessories and footwear space. As noted by Forbes, “Shoppers have embraced fast fashion, with its on-trend styles and affordable prices, and sales at Zara climbed 9 percent to 25 billion euros ($29 billion) in 2017,” putting it in second place, followed by Nike, the world’s largest athletic retailer with annual sales of $35 billion.
Meanwhile, further down on the list, LVMH rival Kering, which is parent to Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Saint Laurent, among others, landed in the number 349 spot. Discount retailer giant TJX Companies, which occupies the number 445 (of 2000) position, and Richemont – which owns Yoox Net-a-Porter, Chloe, Alaia, and Cartier, is in spot number 487.