French luxury group PPR to sell FNAC and La Redoute

French luxury group PPR is preparing to sell its book and CD retailer Fnac and online fashion store La Redoute, Le Journal du Dimanche wrote on Sunday, as part of a strategy to concentrate on luxury and sports brands.

The company wants to exit its retail operations in order to focus on other high-profile brands, which currently include fashion labels Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and sports names Puma and Volcom. CEO Francois Henri Pinault said last week that PPR would make an announcement about the planned sale of its Redcats mail order business before disclosing third-quarter results on October 25.

Fnac, which operates about 154 stores around the world, has long been a headache for PPR as consumers turn to the Web to buy both music and books. Early this year, Fnac announced plans to cut 80 million euros ($105 million) from its budget as it axed 500 jobs in France and abroad. PPR has similarly tried to streamline La Redoute, cutting jobs by nearly a half since late 2008.


Francois Henri Pinault, CEO, PPR Group (photo Virgile Guinard)