Heading into Jimmy Choo’s 20th anniversary year, CEO Pierre Denis knew it would be a “complicated” one for the brand. Economic and political turmoil was deepening across the globe and demand for luxury was waning.
But the executive, who joined Jimmy Choo in 2012, knew that the company was in a better position than many of its competitors.
“We got ourselves prepared — and so far, so good,” Denis said ahead of the company’s strong first-half financial report that showed a 27.9 percent increase in net income. Sales, meanwhile, rose 9.2 percent to 173.1 million pounds, or $248.1 million.
“From the beginning, we’ve been able to tell a real story, and that keeps the brand relevant,” he said. That story has centered on the seductive power of shoes, a category that has exploded since the company’s inception in 1996.
Much of Denis’ energy has been focused on driving the company forward in Asia, where he lived for many years during his stint at LVMH and Christian Dior.
“In Asia, the luxury industry, which is young, started with [the male consumer], and then women began to take interest in apparel and bags,” he said. “Now they’re starting to discover shoes more.”
In addition to mainland China and Hong Kong, Jimmy Choo is experiencing momentum in Japan, the company’s second largest market after the United States. There, male consumers are leading the charge for the brand.
The CEO and his team have the men’s business top of mind as they overhaul the retail fleet — a massive, but important, project. Overall, the brand operates 147 directly owned locations, and 71 of them are dual-gender boutiques.
The Frenchman said Jimmy Choo — which has racked up an impressive 4.7 million followers on Instagram — also is pouring more energy and resources into its social media initiatives.
That’s particularly important, according to Denis, because many of Choo’s younger customers scroll through their social feeds every morning, while they might bypass traditional magazines completely.
(Source: Footwear News)