More bad news for the luxury market, the Wall Street Journal reports on Gucci's sales figures. Sales at Gucci fell 3.3% in the first quarter. What's interesting is that Gucci's new strategy to improve their bottom line is to market lower-price products more aggressively. This goes against the common wisdom for luxury brands which is that the when the economy is down it is the time to focus on the affluent consumers who are still spending. Gucci also announced this week that popular actress Claire Danes will be the face of their fine jewelry line which follows an announcement that James Franco is the new face of the latest Gucci fragrance.
Other brands in the luxury world including Louis Vuitton are still doing well and perhaps Gucci is looking to mimic that glossy success. The Chief Financial Officer of Gucci's parent company PPR Jean-François Palus has said that the brand was focusing too much on their more expensive products such as those in the Pelle Guccissima line (even though the brand did well last year with over 2.2 billion euros in sales). Gucci is one of the brands that has weathered the most storms in the luxury market, languishing for years before being revitalized during the Tom Ford era, and I have no doubt they will triumph in the long run.