Michael Kors struggles with brand positioning in Europe

Worldwide
Published:  09 November, 2018

Overall, Michael Kors brand revenues were down -0.8% in the second quarter of the Group’s fiscal 2019, with Jimmy Choo delivering a better performance driven by its strength in the footwear segment.

Total revenue for Michael Kors Holdings increased +9.3% in the quarter to US$1.25 billion, including a US$116.7 million contribution from Jimmy Choo. Gross profit stood at US$763.1 million and gross margin was 60.9%, compared with US$690.8 million and 60.2% in the prior year. Adjusted gross profit in the period was US$765.4 million and adjusted gross margin was 61%, against US$690.8 million and 60.2% in the corresponding quarter of the prior year. Net income totalled US$137.6 million, or US$0.91 (Q2 2018: US$202.9 million, US$1.32).

Retail revenue for the Michael Kors brand remained rather flat at US$643.9 million in the quarter, with comparable store sales down -2.1% (-1.3% on a constant currency basis). The brand’s wholesale revenue declined -1.3% to US$457.8 million, year-on-year, and inventory at September 29, 2018 was US$619.7 million, a -11% decrease as compared with the prior year. The brand has been hurt by lower sales in Europe, where it is said to be struggling to create a stronger luxury identity by stocking fewer of its signature handbags - a move allegedly aimed at creating scarcity and driving more full-price sales. Michael Kors revenue from its stores in Europe fell almost -10% in the quarter, meaning overall retail revenue totalled US$643.9 million, roughly US$17 million lower than analysts’ estimates.

Revenue for Jimmy Choo, acquired by the Company a year ago, amounted to US$116.7 million in the quarter. Compared to Jimmy Choo stand-alone results from the prior year, revenue is said to have increased double digits. Jimmy Choo operating loss stood at US$18.4 million and adjusted operating loss was US$7.4 million. The brand is said to be struggling to attract younger consumers.

Upon announcement of results on October 7, shares of Michael Kors Holdings were reported to have declined -16%.