stake your turf
Posted by Sara Zucker on November 24, 2009 10:21 AM
Known almost as much for his personal life (Salma Hayek's new husband, he's profiled in today's Wall Street Journal) as his public one, PPR owner François-Henri Pinault is looking to sell some of his less glamorous brands in an effort to pay off debts. The businesses that will be pushed aside happen to generate 70% of group sales, but Pinault's goal is to focus on the clothing and accessories brands within its luxury Gucci Group and Puma. FT reports:
He is not interested in slimming PPR down to a pure luxury player and is looking to replace the lower-margin retail businesses with mid-market brands.
Out with the old and in with the new, wouldn't you say?
The FT notes that Pinault, who has stumbled in the past, is under fresh pressure:
Mr Pinault has considered shedding the lower-margin businesses in the past and been criticised by some investors for failing to deliver. The only big divestment under his stewardship so far is Printemps, the department store chain, in 2006. The disposal strategy has been given a new impetus by the recent recovery in stock markets.
PPR owns a variety of brands, from the high-end (Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen) to mass-market stragglers like Conforama, La Redoute, the Golf Warehouse, and FNAC. Never heard of them? For us Americans: Conforama is a 220-store European furniture chain, and FNAC is similar to Target but without the designer collaborations. La Redoute is a mail-order business. The goal of divesting is to give PPR higher margins while complementing its luxury brands.
The massive French luxury goods and retail group is said to keeping its eye on Ralph Lauren, Levi Strauss, and Abercrombie & Fitch.