Gucci designer brand owner Kering is getting serious about tightening its control of its eCommerce sales, and about making sure more of its sales are coming in through its own branded sites, instead of through third-party retailers. Kering, according to reports, is seeking to gain greater control over its goods, its image and its client data.
Gucci and its parent firm have been slower entrants to the world of digital commerce than some other luxury houses, many of which have begun logging massive investments in upping their eCommerce gains. Luxury products had for years stayed away from selling online, for fear of diluting the exclusivity of their branded experience in stores. However, the rise of third-party sites that specialize in designer sale and resale pushed the industry to rethinking that position and reorient themselves toward moving heavily into eCommerce while working on ways to retain as much control of distribution and pricing as possible.
Kering has specifically said it is looking take back control of web operations for brands such as Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen which had been developed by Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP). Yoox Net-A-Porter is an online retailer that is also now fully owned by Kering rival Richemont.
That joint venture is slate to come to an end in the second quarter of next year, Kering Digital Officer Gregory Boutte said.
Kering also said it will be looking to turn more of its collaborations with third-party, multi-brand retailers into what it calls “online concessions” which will allow them hands-on control of their product allotment and presentation on the site.
“Each time we move from wholesale to a concession we see our top line increase in a material way,” Boutte said.
Kering affirmed that it is “not against wholesale,” and did not plan to end its relationships with third parties altogether.