Thursday, June 13, 2024

Kering SA

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Nyongesa Sande
Nyongesa Sande
Nyongesa Sande is a Kenyan blogger, Pan Africanist,c olumnist Political Activist , blogger, informer & businesman who has interest in politics, governance, corporate fraud, human rights and television personality.

Kering  is a French-based multinational corporation specializing in luxury goods. It owns the brands BalenciagaBottega VenetaGucciAlexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent.

The timber-trading company Pinault S.A. was founded in 1963, by François Pinault. After the company was quoted on Euronext Paris in 1988, it became the retail conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) in 1994, and the luxury group Kering in 2013. The group has been a constituent of the CAC 40 since 1995. François-Henri Pinault has been president and CEO of Kering since 2005. In 2020, the group’s revenue reached €13.1 billion.


From timber trading to retail

In 1963, with a loan from his family and a bank, François Pinault opened the Établissements Pinault in Brittany (France) specialized in timber trading. The company became Pinault S.A. and grew organically and through acquisitions. In 1988, Pinault S.A. was listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

In 1989, Pinault S.A. purchased 20% of CFAO, a French distribution conglomerate active throughout Africa. In 1990, Pinault S.A. and CFAO merged, and François Pinault became head of the newly formed group. This accelerated its acquisitions in the retail sector: Conforama (French furniture retailer) in 1991, Printemps (department stores in France) in 1992, which also owned 54% of La Redoute (French mail-order shopping retailer), and Fnac (French bookstore, multimedia and electronics retailer) in 1994. To align with its new activities, the group was renamed Pinault-Printemps-Redoute in 1994.

In 1999, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute purchased a controlling 42% stake of the Gucci group for $3 billion and 100% of Yves Saint Laurent. Those acquisitions marked the cornerstone of the group’s shift towards luxury. After Gucci, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute acquired Boucheron (2000), Bottega Veneta (2001), Balenciaga (2001), and signed strategic partnerships with Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. In 2004, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute reached a 99.4% ownership of Gucci.

From retail to luxury

In 2003, François Pinault handed over the helm of Artémis, the family holding company that controlled Pinault-Printemps-Redoute to his son François-Henri. In 2005, François-Henri Pinault became president and CEO of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, succeeding to Serge Weinberg. The group officially changed its name to PPR. and kept on building a portfolio of luxury brands: The Sowind Group (owner of Girard-Perregaux) and Brioni (2011), the Pomellato Group (Pomellato and Dodo, 2012),[11] Qeelin (2012), Christopher Kane (2013), Ulysse Nardin (2014). To further this strategy, PPR offloaded its retail assets: Le Printemps (2006), Conforama (2011), CFAO (2012), Fnac (2012), and La Redoute (2013). PPR also developed a Sport & Lifestyle portfolio with the acquisition of Puma (2007), Cobra Golf (2010), and Volcom (2011). Cobra and Volcom have since then been divested (see the respective pages for details) and Kering only holds a minority share in Puma.

In March 2013, PPR changed its name to Kering to reflect the group’s shift towards luxury. Pronounced [kɛːʁiŋ], to sound like the English word “caring“, the new name is a reference to the Pinault family’s region of origin, Brittany, where kêr means “home”.

Part of Kering’s strategy is to name unexpected designers at the creative direction of its brands. In December 2014, Alessandro Michele, a 12-year accessories designer at Gucci, was named its creative director. He introduced an acclaimed « sophisticated, intellectual and androgynous feel » for the Florentine fashion brand which tripled its sales in 5 years. In 2015, following Yves Saint-Laurent’s year-on-year double-digit growth under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane, Kering named a new creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, to renew the brand’s props. In October 2015, Kering named Georgian-born designer Demna Gvasalia as creative director of Balenciaga to reinvent the classic Spanish couture house. In a less speculative move, Kering appointed Daniel Lee – Celine‘s former ready-to-wear designer – as creative designer of Bottega Veneta in June 2018.

In 2014, Kering launched Kering Eyewear and hired Roberto Vedovotto, former CEO of Safilo Group, to pilot its development. In March 2017, Richemont partnered with Kering Eyewear to produce Cartier, Alaïa, and Montblanc eyewear. In September 2019, Kering Eyewear opened a 15,000 square-metre logistics centre near Padua, Italy, with an annual output capacity of five million eyewear units. In March 2022, it was announced Kering Eyewear had acquired the Hawaiian eyewear brand, Maui Jim. In March 2018, Kering agreed to sell its shares of Stella McCartney back to its eponymous owner. Kering became a luxury pure player after the sale of Puma (2018) and Volcom (2019). After the group built up its portfolio of luxury brands, it stopped acquisitions and capitalized on its brands’ organic growth. In 2020, Kering made 13.1 billion euros in revenue, -17.9% from the previous year. In 2021, Kering led a $216-million investment round in the luxury resale website Vestiaire Collective and acquired 100% stake in the Danish luxury eyewear manufacturer Lindberg. In January 2022, the group announced its intention to sell its watches division, namely the brands Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin.

From luxury to sustainability

Since Kering became a luxury brand, the group focused its development on sustainable development for the luxury fashion industry. In 2006 Kering purchased the Balenciaga brand from Jacques Bogart S.A.

In April 2012, Kering committed to a 4-year plan to significantly reduce its impact on the environment. The group developed the “Environmental Profit & Loss account” (EP&L) accounting method to track its progress. In 2017, the group presented its new sustainability program which targeted a 40% reduction of its global environmental impact by 2025, a strategy aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In September 2019, Kering committed to become carbon-neutral within its operations and its supply chain.

In 2013, after opening the Material Innovation Lab, a center in Novara, Italy, specialized in innovative materials and fabric sustainability, Kering became part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and was named top sustainable textile, apparel and luxury goods corporation” in the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 index in 2018

The Kering Foundation was created in 2008 to support women’s rights initiatives worldwide. The Foundation works with local partners focused on women issues and gender equity. Alongside Gucci, Kering is a strategic partner of Chime for Change, an international campaign focused on women’s education, health and justice, launched by Salma Hayek-Pinault, Frida Giannini (former CEO of Gucci), and Beyoncé. From 2012 to 2018, the Kering Foundation contributed to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with the White Ribbon campaign. In 2015, Kering became an official partner of the Festival de Cannes and launched the program Women in Motion to raise women’s issues in the film industry (extended to the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in March 2019).

In October 2018, Kering started to implement the use of the first 100% traceable organic cotton. In December 2018, with Plug and Play, Kering launched the Kering Sustainable Innovation Award to reward and invest in startups focused on sustainability and luxury. In May 2019, the group aligned with the strict European Union standards for animal welfare and banned models under 18 from its shows and photo shootings. The French President Emmanuel Macron mandated François-Henri Pinault to promote an industry coalition for sustainability. In August 2019, Kering presented the Fashion Pact during the 45th G7 summit, an initiative signed by 32 fashion firms committing to concrete measures to reduce their environmental impact. In October 2020, the Fashion Pact virtually announced its one-year progress at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, revealing that 80 percent of its members have sped up company-wide sustainability efforts to date.

In September 2021 Kering announced that in keeping with a “vision of Luxury that is inseparable from the very highest environmental and social values and standards,” all of their fashion brands would no longer use animal fur starting with the 2022 collections. In January 2022, Kering joined a consortium of brands committed to shift from wet to mostly dry textile processing.

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