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On Tuesday, Apple announced that Angela Ahrendts was leaving the company in April, five years after the long-standing fashion manager and catalyst of the Burberry luxury reboot joined the Silicon Valley technology giant as retail manager. As soon as the news broke, the front rows of New York Fashion Week came with speculation. Could Ahrendts plot a return to fashion? And if so, where?
Ralph Lauren was a ranger even before Ahrendts appeared on the brand's fashion show Thursday morning. The American stalwart ̵
Interestingly, Ahrendts came to Ralph Lauren's board as a non-executive director last August. And burning the rumors even further, said former Burberry designer Christopher Bailey, with whom Ahrendts collaborated closely to resume Burberry, having held his own conversations with Ralph Lauren for a top creative role.
Apple's advertising suggested that Ahrendts leave the firm "for new personal and professional pursuits" and CEO Tim Cook called her resignation "bittersweet". But what Ahrendts does next time, her track record on Apple was mixed, and despite a celebrating interview with Vogue last week, her tenure contains precious lessons for luxury fashion players.
Ahrendts came to Apple in 2014 with a lot of fanfare – and a hefty pay packet. She soon began to develop the company's network of stores, which former Apple boss Ron Johnson had transformed into some of the most productive retail stores on the planet, admired and imitated for his open, bright architecture and a seamless, personalized customer experience. which often felt like magic, but was driven by a mix of well-trained sales consultants and back-stage technology.
At the heart of Ahrend's vision was the idea of turning Apple Stores from shopping to community centers or what she called Town Squares, where "the best of Apple comes together and everyone is welcome." Apple stores are certainly more inviting than they have ever been. Where else can you spend an hour listening to music or sitting under a real tree and reading an iBook without anyone bothering you? There is also a list of classes she introduced, called Today at Apple, designed to showcase the many creative applications for Apple devices.
The results were nothing to reject. According to eMarketer, Ahrendts helped increase average revenue per square meter by 21 percent to $ 5,637 during its period – and it doesn't include the weight she put on sales outside Apple's stores. She introduced a successful iPhone upgrade program and played a role in increasing online sales.
But Ahrendts signature was perhaps most evident in the glittering flagships, designed by Foster + Partners, which she launched in major cities such as London, Paris, Milan and Chicago: brand temples with tactics taken directly from the "shock and awe" playbook favored by luxurious houses. For sure, these stores were aesthetically impressive and had features such as the glass fountain and large outdoor amphitheater at Apple Piazza Liberty, when her Milan flagship was baptized.
Yet, the focus came on glittering places in large urban areas at the expense of shops in smaller markets where growth opportunities lie. Nowhere was this better than in China, where Apple sales have declined. A wider decline in the country's economy, eating in Chinese demand for the iPhone, is certainly the primary culprit. However, as local rivals aggressively targeted second and third tier cities, the 70 odd shops that Ahrendts opened in Greater China during their period did not deliver results. Here are lessons for luxury fashion brands, which often focus their attention on building brand temples in global capitals, while paying less attention to smaller markets where new value creation opportunities.
At the same time, Apple's shiny new flagships were optimized for the wrong thing. While Ahrendts poured money into elaborate Town Squares, the company has once suffered a revolutionary customer experience in the store. Perhaps nowhere is this sharper than Apple's famous Genius Bars, which set new standards for internal technical support when they first launched in 2001. Today, many Apple users can no longer make improvised visits to the company's Genius Bars and Long Waiting for Appointments And worsening service has become increasingly frustrating for customers, especially in urban areas.
It says that Ahrendts is being replaced by Deirdre O & # 39; Brien, the company's senior vice president of people, who will continue to monitor human resources, talent development and employee relationships with her new role as general manager and, according to Apple, will focus "on the relationship between the customer and the people and the processes that serve them."
In digital age, physical stores are not just sales channels. They must be platforms to deliver impeccable customer experience. Brand storytelling is just one piece of the puzzle. Less flashy, but perhaps not adequately valued, is the role of people, process, and just to make customers good. The fashion industry would do well to be aware.
NEWS IN CARDS
FASHION, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Sneaker reseller Goat lands $ 100 million investment from Foot Locker. The deal, Foot Locker's largest investment to date, valued the goat of over $ 550 million, bringing the total sum of capital increased by the sneak market to over $ 197.6 million. The move will allow Foot Locker to tap into the secondary sneaker market, while Goat plans to scale in the US and abroad. It is part of a new wave of peer-to-peer e-commerce platforms such as StockX, Grailed and Stadium Goods, where the growing number of male millennia gather to buy and sell streetwear and sneakers on and off.
Capri Holdings climbs after increasing revenue forecast. The company behind Michael Kors Jimmy Choo and now Versace, climbed as much as 11 percent in early trading after increasing the forecast for full-year sales. Revenues will be about $ 5.22 billion, up from a previous $ 5.13 billion view, the company said. Analysts had estimated $ 5.2 billion. The company completed its $ 1.83 billion ($ 2.2 billion) purchase on Versace last year, saying it expects about $ 900 billion in revenue from its label over the next financial year.
Tapestry slashes profit forecast in the volatile market. The owner of Kate Spade and Coach became the last consumer-oriented company to sound a wider alarm, referring to "an increasingly volatile macroeconomic and geopolitical background" as it missed both its own and analysts' expectations in the last quarter and cut their guidance. The company estimated earnings per diluted share in the range of $ 2.55 to $ 2.60 in the fiscal year, down from $ 2.75 to $ 2.80. So before.
Hermès says that Chinese sales momentum is still strong. CEO Axel Dumas said he did not see any changes in momentum in the luxury brand's stores in China, after giving a 9.6 percent increase in fourth-quarter sales at fixed exchange rates, unchanged from three months earlier. Asia Pacific sales, excluding Japan, increased by 13.1 percent in fixed currencies, increasing from 11.7 percent growth in the third quarter. Revenues in the fourth quarter increased by 10.1 percent on a reported basis to $ 1.7 billion ($ 1.93 billion). The full results will be released on March 20.
Ralph Lauren estimates quarterly revenue estimates. The US company climbed in early trading after posting quarterly results that exceeded analyst estimates in almost every area, as increased marketing was paid during the holidays. Total sales in the same store increased by 4 per cent last quarter; Analysts had projected 2 percent growth. Ralph Lauren has been on the rise in recent years, with leaders hoping to target the younger customer by increasing their market investment in social and digital and young social media stars in their campaigns.
Gucci draws sweater criticized for resembling blackface images. The Italian fashion house has apologized to sell a $ 890 black turtleneck whose extra high collar has a pair of exaggerated red lips around an opening for the user's mouth. The brand, which has since removed the item from its electronic and physical stores, is part of a growing list of companies such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and H & M who have been called for similar errors in recent months.
THE BUSINESS OF BEAUTY
Estée Lauder sales growth enhanced by luxury skin care . The company increased its annual forecast after reporting better than expected quarterly results, and sent the shares up by 10 percent. Growth in the Asia-Pacific, online and travel sales channels, brands like La Mer, Mac Cosmetics and Origins and strong sales of the Jo Malone London scents sparked a robust quarter, it said. The company now expects adjusted fiscal surplus 2019 to be in the range of $ 4.92 to $ 5 per share from a previous forecast of $ 4.73 and $ 4.82. It also expects the adjusted sales to increase between 8 per cent and 9 per cent. It had previously expected a range of 7 percent to 8 percent.
Kardashian sisters awarded $ 10 million in beauty mark lawsuits. In court documents obtained by TMZ, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney were awarded $ 10 million in damages, and the amount of Hillair Capital-owned Haven Beauty claimed that it initially used "save" Kardashian Beauty. The sisters were first sued for $ 180 million in 2016, after the reality television stars were accused of breaking their licensing contract by not adequately promoting their Kardashian Beauty brand. In response, Kardashians took the lawsuit against Haven, saying the company sold the brand's products without their consent or involvement. They had also claimed that Hillair had not paid for products labeled in their name.
Kanye West's identity stolen for false NYFW contract. A person who claims to be a former friend of Vestas and G.O.O.D. The music association welcomed designer Philipp Plein to arrange a performance of the music at the brand's New York Fashion Week presentation on Monday. The person allegedly constituted the West's representative, negotiating a $ 1 million deal to perform at Plein's runway show. TMZ achieved what appears to be a contract document showing a Kanye West signature, presumably forged by the individual. According to one source, the person also had an advance of $ 900,000 linked to an account that was cleared soon after.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says the National Enquirer publisher was trying to push him out. Amazon's founder and CEO of Amazon has claimed that AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer, threatened to release compromising images of him. A post he published on the blogging platform. The media record included posts that he said were emails from AMI describing what he described as extortion. Bezos, the world's richest person, is the largest shareholder in Amazon, with 16 percent of the company's shares.
Nina Garcia reveals that she gets double mastectomy. The American Elder Editor has written a powerful essay showing that she chooses the operation and thus misses New York Fashion Week this season for the first time in 25 years. In the post, the editor explained that the health struggle began in 2015 when she found out that she had a gene mutation, which means she has a high risk of breast cancer.
MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY
Harper's Bazaar launches paid content for brides. The US fashion title is to introduce a subscription site, as well as a premium level that includes newsletters, videos, and discounts. The vertical, called Bazaar Bride, is the first of its kind from publisher Hearst, who, under new president Troy Young, is attempting to develop new sources of consumer revenue such as print subscriptions. Decline
The PR agency behind Warby Parker, Everlane and Glossier goes international. New York-based Derris has acquired London-based boutique companies Sample in a cash transaction. The company refused to provide further details of the agreement, but Sample will immediately be rebranded as Derris. The move underscores Derris' intention to serve its customers globally, as many of them are seeking overseas growth – the Razor brand Harry's and Glossier have both launched in the UK over the past five and a half.
Amazon first adds always warning of counterfeit products. E-commerce giant has addressed its fake problem in a regulatory filing, which marks the first time Amazon has mentioned the word "falsified" in the annual report. It's a problem that can get worse, as the company is shifting more of its sales to third-party sellers.
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