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Gucci to grow more than twice as fast as the luxury market

GUCCI has seen strong sales growth since March and expects to be able to grow more than twice as fast as the wider luxury market over the medium term, the company said.

“In March we saw very strong growth in products sold at their full price, including handbags, and this trend has increased in April and May,” new Gucci Chief Executive Marco Bizarri told reporters in London on Thursday. His comments were embargoed for Friday.

Bizarri, former head of handbag maker Bottega Veneta, was put in charge of Gucci in early 2015 and pushed through a style overhaul under designer Alessandro Michele, which has ended two years of falling sales.

Gucci believes that over the medium term its new image will allow it to grow more than twice as fast as the luxury market, which Bain & Co expects will grow by 2 to 3 percent.

In slides released on Friday, Gucci also said it was targeting 6 billion euros ($6.8 billion) in sales over the long term, compared with 3.89 billion last year.

Bizarri said sales in renovated stores had seen double-digit growth since March. He said demand growth was very strong in Europe, the United States and China, and said sales in its Paris stores were up 10 percent since January, despite the November attacks.

Sales of handbags at full price are up 7 percent since January, ready-to-wear sales are up 66 percent and shoes sales are up 46 percent, according to figures released by Kering at an investor day on Friday.

“We are fighting for market share, and to win we need to be desirable and different,” Bizarri said. He said Gucci wants to attract new clients, notably the fickle and ultra-connected “millenials”, and has broadened its range with entry-level leather goods, jewellery and scarves. It also aims to triple online sales currently about 3 percent of the total.

While its operating margin fell from 32 percent in 2013 to 26.5 percent last year, Bizarri said he thinks he can gradually restore it to 30 percent over the medium term.

Gucci Fall Winter 2016-17

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