Valentino, Gucci and Pandora appoint new captains for their China business

Fashion strengthens its position in China. Valentino, Gucci and Pandora have named new captains to run their business at the Asian giant. The three signatures are external and have extensive experience in leading business in Asia for other operators in the sector.

The new CEO of Gucci’s fashion business in mainland China is Laurent Cathala, who joins the company under the same title at Tiffany. The position is newly created for the Italian companyproperty of Kering, as advanced Bloomberg.

Cathala will take up her role at the end of June and will report to Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri. The executive has been responsible for Tiffany in mainland China and the North Asia region for the past seven years..

Valentino has appointed Janice Lam as General Manager for Mainland China.. The leader joined the luxury business of Alfred Dunhill, where she held the same position, and also worked for Prada.

Lam succeeds Mitchell Bacha, who was appointed head of Valentino China in April 2021. In his new position, the board will report to Jacopo Venturini, CEO of the company since May 2020as anticipated WWD. Valentino has 28 stores in the region.

Pandora has also renewed its address in China and, From tomorrow, Irving Holmes Wong will take over the management of Danish jewelry in the country. The executive will report to the company’s chief operating officer, Martino Pessina. Wong joins Pandora as general manager for Asia-Pacific and China for cosmetics company Avon.

In 2021, the jewelry company achieved a turnover of 1.1 billion Danish crowns (147.9 million euros) in mainland China., which represents approximately 5% of its turnover. The company closed the year with an annual growth of 23%, up to 23,394 million Danish crowns (3,142.7 million euros). Compared to 2019, the increase is 9.44%.

Kering, parent company of Gucci, achieved a turnover of 17,645.2 million euros in 2021, which represents an increase of 35% compared to the year of the pandemic and 11% compared to 2019. Gucci is the most important firm of the French group in terms of turnover and achieved 55% of its sales in 2021.

Valentino, for its part, closed last year with sales of 1,230 million euros, an increase of 41% compared to 2020 and 3% compared to 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic. The company also emerged from losses in 2021.

China and fashion consumption

In the first two months of 2022, Chinese retail trade grew by 6.7% compared to the same period in 2021according to the country’s National Statistics Office.

Last year, major Western fashion operators they faced a boycott by China because of the denunciation of the forced labor situation to which the Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region is subject. After companies like H&M and Nike took a stand against these practices, the Beijing government launched an active boycott against them, calling on the country’s people to stop buying their products.

Additionally, China currently has a Covid Zero policy, which has led to lockdowns in cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen in recent weeks after rising coronavirus cases.

Yesterday, luxury fashion consumption in the country suffered another blow with the announcement of the closure of trade in Hainan, where the supply is concentrated. duty free from the country. Other areas of heavy business activity in China, such as Sanya, have also seen business suspensions in a bid to halt the advance of the pandemic.

Another phenomenon facing Western fashion operators is Guochao, a term that literally translates to “national tide” and refers to a growing consumer liking for the Asian giant. by national brands or associated with their culture.

In recent years, the growth of brands in the Guochao market has been three times that of international brandsaccording to the report Development Trends of New Mainstream Brands in China 2022of Sinolink Securities.

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