Richemont’s accelerated expansion of its fashion, accessories and retailing businesses

Richemont Group has been accelerating expansion of its non-core business – fashion and accessories, focusing on improved productivity, especially considering growing costs, especially raw materials. While its fashion and accessories units registered an ecouraging 23% growth, to a total of 672 million euros, this new growth leg for Richemont is still running some 15 million euros in the red. Losses came mainly from the company’s unbranded watch component manufacturing activities and Net-a-Porter.

Online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, which Richemont owns since 2011, initially concentrated on Europe and the US, is expected to make inroads into Asia Pacific by the end of next year and has scheduled opening in Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2013.

Expansion in the first half for the fashion boutiques included new stores for Alfred Dunhill at Las Vegas Caesar’s Palace and Shenyang Forum 66, two new flagship stores for Lancel in Paris and Shanghai and new directly operated stores for Chloé in the US and China.

More significant, though, was last month’s 297 million euro acquisition of retail space in the St Regis Hotel on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in New York.

Alfred Dunhill flagship store, Shanghai