Richemont quarterly sales halve as luxury sector takes significant hit

Switzerland
Published:  17 July, 2020

The Swiss luxury leather goods, watch and jewellery maker has reported a sales drop of 47% to €1.99bn in the quarter to the end of June, stating the business had suffered “unprecedented levels of disruption”, despite most of its stores outside of the U.S. having reopened after post Covid-19 lockdowns. 

The Geneva-based company, which owns brands such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, has experienced a significant slump in sales across all regions and categories as it had been forced not only to shut its stores, but also warehouses in Milan, London and New York which are used to fulfil orders on its online multi-brand stores Yoox and Net-a-Porter.

Johann Rupert, the founder and largest shareholder, warned in May that Covid-19 would cause “grave economic consequences” for up to three years, the Financial Times reports.

The only positive development for Richemont was China, where revenues soared 49%, although exact figures remained under wraps. The hike is attributed to the fact that travel restrictions are forcing Chinese luxury customers to shop in their domestic market, instead of during travels abroad.

Richemont’s online platforms are reported to have fared slightly better than its other channels as the pandemic helped accelerate the shift to e-commerce. Online retail sales in the quarter stood at €506m, down 22% from the previous.

Richemont’s results mirror the mounting compression across the luxury sector in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Source: Financial Times