Gucci’s investment in e-commerce is paying off, quite literally.
Under the direction of creative director Alessandro Michele, the brand saw a 17 percent sales increase in the third quarter of 2016, with 50 percent of the uptick coming from e-commerce. This marks the first time Gucci has experienced a double digit percentage sales increase since 2012.
Kering Group — Gucci’s parent company, which also owns YSL, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Brioni, among others — announced a “sharp acceleration in organic growth” in its sales report today, up 10.5 percent to nearly $3.5 billion, largely as a result of Gucci’s dramatic growth. The company does not release brand-specific sales figures.
“Alessandro Michele’s latest show, one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the Milan Fashion Week, received an enthusiastic response, again confirming the success of the brand’s creative reinvention,” a Kering representative wrote in the report. “Gucci collections continued to meet the approval of its clientele while attracting an increasing number of new customers.”
Since his appointment as creative director in January 2015, Michele has prioritized digital engagement, including visual storytelling that is reflected in the brand’s revamped e-commerce site that places ready-to-wear items on sale alongside lower-priced garments. The site has maintained an edge over competitors with its simple, user-friendly functionality that avoids delving into extravagance. In a section called “The Agenda,” Gucci shares the inspiration behind collections, including stories about pattern and style selection.
“They’ve tapped into something that is emblematic,” Ian Schatzberg, president of digital agency Wednesday, told Glossy in May. “They have brought to life their world — it’s curated in a way that it represents the life of the Gucci woman in a very smart and subtle way, while still making the consumer feel that they want to live in this world.”
Gucci has also prioritized interesting new collaborations. With “GucciGhost,” graffiti artist Trevor Andrew painted the brand’s logo all over New York City. Michele brought Andrew to come to Rome to collaborate on a capsule collection of graffiti-inspired pieces.
“In an uncertain time for luxury, Gucci’s current model is most likely to succeed,” Exane BNP Paribas’s head of global luxury goods Luca Solca said in August. “Brands have to innovate faster to convince existing consumers to spend more money on them — you won’t be buying another identical handbag or dress.”