Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Cartier, LVMH Look to Stores Outside Paris for Olympic Retail Boost

FILE PHOTO: The logo of luxury goods group Richemont's flagship brand Cartier is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2017.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of luxury goods group Richemont's flagship brand Cartier is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
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Cartier, LVMH Look to Stores Outside Paris for Olympic Retail Boost

FILE PHOTO: The logo of luxury goods group Richemont's flagship brand Cartier is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2017.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of luxury goods group Richemont's flagship brand Cartier is seen at a branch in Zurich, Switzerland, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Luxury retailers in European cities outside France are jockeying for business from deep pocketed tourists this summer, betting on a surge in visitors avoiding crowds and street closures in Paris during the Olympic Games.
"Paris will probably be slow," with cities like London, Milan or Barcelona likely seeing a lift in traffic during the event, Cartier CEO Cyril Vigneron said on Friday.
The Summer Games, which run from July 26 to Aug. 11, are probably "not the right time to organize a very important high jewelry celebration in Paris", said Van Cleef & Arpels CEO Nicolas Bos. "But we will keep the stores open and be very happy to welcome sports amateurs," he added.
The executives of the Richemont-owned jewelry brands speak from experience. The 2012 Olympics, held in London, drove some serious shoppers to their boutiques in Paris, they said, although it was "neutral" overall for their businesses. Expecting a similar trend this year, they will focus on meeting their wealthy customers where they turn up.
LVMH, the world's largest luxury group and an Olympic sponsor, is also basing its expectations on its experience during previous events in London and Beijing.
"It's usually quite neutral - although it makes our life a little bit more complicated when it comes to supplying products into our stores," said LVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean Jacques Guiony.
According to Reuters, a report commissioned by Paris 2024 last week flagged a possible "crowding out" effect whereby tourists that had planned to come to Paris go elsewhere, but said that it is hard to measure and to predict.
France's governing fashion body, The Federation de la Haute Couture et la Mode, has moved the autumn 2024 haute couture fashion shows forward a week to June 24, straight after the menswear spring 2025 ready-to-wear events. Organizers are also doubling shuttle services between shows as final Olympic preparations are expected to snarl city traffic.
Still, some fashion labels will only hold showroom presentations in Milan this season, due to "logistical difficulties because of the Olympics", Carlo Capasa, chairman of Italy's National Fashion Chamber, said.
London retailers, which have suffered from a drop in tourist traffic with the end of UK tax-free shopping, are hoping to capture business from Paris, with preparations well underway at iconic stores Harrods and Selfridges.
"Paris has already been taken off the Chinese tour guide lists for this summer," said Harrods' managing director Michael Ward, who is expecting a significant boost. "We've got to curate the product, we've got to be absolutely on our game to handle it," said Ward.
The department store hopes to draw in shoppers with celebrations of its new Tiffany & Co. high jewelry boutique, designer pop-ups and exclusive products including two new 175th anniversary teddy bears designed by Italian jewelry label Bulgari and makeup label Charlotte Tilbury.
Selfridges plans to attract locals as well as international visitors with sporting events such as a running club and is beefing up its offer of sportswear products.
"We are getting ready for a huge celebration of sport," said CEO Andrew Keith.
Barcelona, meanwhile, is pitching itself as a laid-back alternative to the frenzied Olympic atmosphere in Paris.
"Spain can offer a more relaxed leisure and consumer experience than that which, for weeks, the host city and country of the Games will have," Spanish retail and food industry association AECOC told Reuters.
Some tourists, including from the United States, who do visit the Games, which will mostly be held in venues throughout the French capital, are planning to extend their trips to visit other European countries.
"US travel data appears to imply a halo effect, as in addition to an increase in bookings in France for the Olympics, our data reflects an amplification of intra-European travel by Americans in Europe to certain destinations, such as Spain, Germany and Italy," travel agency eDreams told Reuters.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : LVMH Sales Grow 1% in Second Quarter, Missing Estimates

This photograph taken on January 25, 2024 shows the logo of World's top luxury group LVMH during presentation of its 2023 annual results in Paris, on January 25, 2024. (AFP)
This photograph taken on January 25, 2024 shows the logo of World's top luxury group LVMH during presentation of its 2023 annual results in Paris, on January 25, 2024. (AFP)
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LVMH Sales Grow 1% in Second Quarter, Missing Estimates

This photograph taken on January 25, 2024 shows the logo of World's top luxury group LVMH during presentation of its 2023 annual results in Paris, on January 25, 2024. (AFP)
This photograph taken on January 25, 2024 shows the logo of World's top luxury group LVMH during presentation of its 2023 annual results in Paris, on January 25, 2024. (AFP)

LVMH, the world's biggest luxury company, posted a 1% rise in organic sales in the second quarter on Tuesday, missing analyst estimates, and likely adding to investor jitters about slowing growth in the sector.

Sales at the French group, owner of labels Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Hennessy, grew to 20.98 billion euros ($22.8 billion), a 1% rise on an organic basis, which strips out currency effects and acquisitions.

The figure fell below analyst expectations for revenues of 21.6 billion euros, according to an LSEG poll based on six analysts.

The report from luxury sector bellwether LVMH, which is Europe's second-largest listed company, worth around 340 billion euros, comes amid concerns about weak sales of designer fashions in the sector's key market, China.

The group's fashion and leather goods division, which includes the Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior brands and accounts for nearly half of group sales and the bulk of operating profit, grew 1%, slowing slightly from the previous quarter's 2% rise.

"While remaining vigilant in the current context, the group approaches the second half of the year with confidence," said LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault in a statement.