Versace sidesteps corruption crackdown to maintain China growth

Versace’s sales in China are still growing at a “double-digit” pace in spite of the economic slowdown and a crackdown on corruption that has dented sales of other luxury brands.

Gian Giacomo Ferraris, chief executive of the fashion house, told the Financial Times that sales in China were growing more slowly than in previous years, but still at a double-digit rate as the company generated more sales from its existing store network.

“If you’re saying it was 38 per cent growth and now its not, then yes, we are affected. But China is becoming about organic growth, it is something that is capitalising,” said Mr Ferraris. “Before [growth] was investing in new shops, and now … the growth is coming organically, which is more profitable.”

Mr Ferraris was in Hong Kong for the opening of Versace’s new Asian flagship store in Kowloon. Situated in the high-end Harbour City mall, the 720 square metre store is spread over three floors, presenting a new design concept that has cost about €5,000 a sq m – a figure Mr Ferraris said was “not egregious” for the industry.

The high-profile opening comes as luxury brands elsewhere have reported weaker performance, hit by China’s crackdown on conspicuous consumption and the practice of “gifting” luxury items to curry favor. Read more.