Gucci owner Kering issues rare luxury sector profit warning after Asia slowdown

March 20, 2024 | by


In a rare move for the luxury sector, French conglomerate Kering, the owner of renowned fashion brand Gucci, has issued a profit warning after experiencing a slowdown in the Asian market. The company’s warning comes amidst concerns about a potential economic slowdown in China, a key market for luxury brands. Kering’s announcement highlights the vulnerability of even the most prestigious luxury labels to fluctuations in consumer demand, particularly in regions that have been hit hard by the ongoing global pandemic. The warning also raises questions about the future of the luxury sector, as it grapples with shifting consumer preferences and the impact of economic uncertainty.

Overview of the article

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the rare profit warning issued by Kering, the owner of luxury brand Gucci, in the context of the slowdown in Asia. It explores the reasons behind the profit warning, the impact of the Asia slowdown on the luxury sector and specifically on Kering, and the response from luxury sector analysts. The article also discusses the steps taken by Kering to address the slowdown and the outlook for the luxury sector. It concludes with a comparison of Kering’s performance to other luxury brands and the broader trends in the industry.

Introduction to Gucci owner Kering

Kering is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate that owns numerous luxury brands, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga. The company was founded in 1963 by François Pinault and has since grown to become one of the largest and most successful luxury goods companies in the world. Kering is known for its focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and its brands are renowned for their craftsmanship, innovation, and iconic designs.


Profit warning issued by Kering

In a surprising move, Kering recently issued a profit warning, citing a slowdown in Asia as a major contributing factor. The profit warning came as a shock to industry analysts and investors, as Kering had previously been experiencing strong growth and was seen as one of the top performers in the luxury sector. The company’s stock price plummeted following the announcement, highlighting the market’s concern over the impact of the Asia slowdown on the luxury sector.

Impact of the Asia slowdown

The Asia slowdown refers to the economic deceleration experienced by countries in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China, which has traditionally been a major driver of global luxury consumption. The slowdown has been attributed to a range of factors, including trade tensions, geopolitical uncertainties, and changing consumer behavior. As a result, the luxury sector has been significantly affected, with many luxury brands experiencing declining sales and profitability.


The impact of the Asia slowdown on Kering has been particularly significant due to the company’s heavy reliance on Asian consumers. China, in particular, has been a key growth market for Kering, with Chinese consumers accounting for a significant portion of its sales. The decline in Chinese consumer spending has therefore had a direct negative impact on Kering’s financial performance.

Rare nature of the profit warning

The profit warning issued by Kering is considered rare in the luxury sector, as luxury brands typically strive to maintain an image of exclusivity and high profitability. Profit warnings are more commonly associated with industries that are highly sensitive to economic fluctuations, such as retail or technology. The fact that Kering, a well-established and historically successful luxury brand conglomerate, issued a profit warning highlights the severity of the Asia slowdown and its repercussions for the luxury sector as a whole.


Response from luxury sector analysts

The profit warning issued by Kering has sparked reactions and comments from industry experts and analysts. Many have expressed concern over the challenges facing the luxury sector, particularly in light of the ongoing Asia slowdown. Some analysts have emphasized the need for luxury brands to diversify their customer base and reduce their dependence on Asian consumers. Others have highlighted the importance of innovation and differentiation in order to stay competitive in a challenging market.

The implications of the profit warning for the luxury sector are significant. The luxury sector is known for its resilience and ability to adapt to changing market conditions, but the current challenges are testing its ability to sustain growth and profitability. Analysts will be closely monitoring the actions taken by luxury brands, including Kering, to address the slowdown and regain momentum.


Steps taken by Kering to address the slowdown

In response to the Asia slowdown and the profit warning, Kering has implemented a number of measures to counter its impact. These measures include focusing on cost-cutting and efficiency measures, as well as reallocating resources to markets that are less affected by the slowdown. Kering is also investing in digital and e-commerce capabilities to tap into new growth opportunities and reach a wider customer base.

Looking ahead, Kering is exploring potential strategies for future growth, including expanding into new markets and categories, and further strengthening its brand portfolio through acquisitions or collaborations. The company is committed to navigating the challenging market conditions and emerging stronger from the current period of uncertainty.

Outlook for the luxury sector

The outlook for the luxury sector remains uncertain, but there are some predictions for the future performance of the sector. Analysts expect a gradual recovery in the Asia-Pacific region as the economic situation stabilizes and consumer confidence improves. However, the luxury sector is likely to face ongoing challenges, including changing consumer preferences, geopolitical uncertainties, and increased competition from emerging luxury brands.

Factors that could influence growth in the luxury sector include the development of emerging markets, particularly in Asia, and the increasing importance of the millennial and Gen Z consumer segments. Luxury brands will need to adapt to these changing dynamics and continue to innovate in order to stay relevant and meet the evolving needs of their target customers.

Comparison to other luxury brands

In comparison to other luxury brands, Kering’s performance has been significantly impacted by the Asia slowdown. While some luxury brands have managed to navigate the challenges and maintain steady growth, others have also experienced declining sales and profitability. The extent of the impact varies depending on factors such as brand positioning, exposure to Asian markets, and product diversification.

The performance of luxury brands in the face of the Asia slowdown provides insights into the broader trends in the industry. Luxury brands that have successfully adapted to changing consumer preferences and invested in digital capabilities have been better positioned to weather the storm. The ability to balance heritage and tradition with innovation and relevance will be crucial for luxury brands seeking sustainable growth in the future.


In conclusion, the profit warning issued by Kering in the context of the Asia slowdown highlights the challenges facing the luxury sector. The impact of the Asia slowdown on Kering and other luxury brands underscores the need for resilience, innovation, and adaptability in a rapidly changing market. While the outlook for the luxury sector remains uncertain, there are opportunities for growth and recovery for those brands that are able to navigate the challenges effectively. By implementing strategic measures and staying attuned to evolving consumer preferences, luxury brands can position themselves for long-term success in the dynamic luxury goods market.



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