Retail in Asia

Richemont Japan sales surge 43 percent, China dives

Swiss luxury group Richemont announced on January 18 sales for the third quarter rose by 5 percent, with double-digit revenue growth in Japan offsetting the disruption to retail trading in Mainland China, due to the massive Covid resurgence.

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The owner of Buccellati, Chloe, Alaïa, and Yoox Net-a-Porter, among other brands, revealed sales increases across all channels, and most regions and business areas. Excluding the impact from Russia, group sales rose by 7 percent at constant exchange rates.

During the three months, the star performer for Richemont was Japan, with sales up by 43 percent, followed by Europe, where sales grew by 19 percent. Japan saw both solid domestic sales and a gradual return of tourism supported by the lifting of Covid restrictions mid-October, as well as a comparatively weaker yen.

In Asia Pacific, sales declined by 9 percent overall, as marked sales growth in South Korea and Southeast Asia, notably in Australia and Singapore, only partially offset lower sales in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The increase of Covid cases in the latter regions negatively impacted customer traffic and, due to staff unavailability, led to a reduction of boutique opening hours or temporary closures of points-of-sale in Mainland China, leading to a sales drop of 24 percent during the three months December 31.

Richemont’s retail and online retail channels also drove growth, with sales up by 6 percent, respectively. Retail posted higher sales in all regions with the exception of Asia Pacific, while online retail increased its contribution to 7 percent of group sales, with  direct sales to consumers representing 76 percent of group sales. Wholesale sales were 1 percent above the prior-year period, adversely impacted by trading in Asia Pacific.

The group’s Jewellery Maisons sales grew by 8 percent, Specialist Watchmakers sales were 5 percent lower reflecting double-digit declines in Asia Pacific, while group’s the Other business area (primarily Fashion & Accessories Maisons) delivered 6 percent sales growth.