Michael Kors’ choice to go public seems to be paying off – literally, and in a big way. The American retail brand announced that total revenue in the fourth quarter fiscal year of 2012 was up 57.1 percent to $597.2 million. In addition, Michael Kors is continuing to forge ahead and announced its plans to open up 50 stores in North America alone, with some more locations in Europe and the Far East. This probably has to do with retail net sales increasing 58.8 percent to $272.7 million driven by a 36.7 percent in comparable store sales. Meanwhile, wholesale net sales increased 59.4 percent to $304.7 million since the end of the fourth quarter. That’s a lot of handbags.
However, it wasn’t all rose-colored sunglasses for other brands, such as Dolce & Gabbana, this week. On Wednesday, the prosecutor in the case against Stefano Gabbana, Domenico Dolce and boardmember/general director Cristiana Ruella, requested that the three be sentenced to jail for two and a half years for tax evasion. The duo and some key management have been on trial for the past few years for alleged charges suggesting that Dolce & Gabbana sold its D&G brand to a Luxembourg holding company in 2004 to avoid high tax costs in Italy. Dolce & Gabbana’s lawyers will make their final arguments June 12.
Score one for Versace, though, which just won a counterfeit lawsuit against Griffith Suisse Luxury Group. The accused has apparently been selling counterfeit Versace-related merchandise on eBay out of the Philippines and Australia. As a result, Griffith Suisse is prohibited from using Versace trademarks and is unable to continue to use eBay as a selling platform.
In other news, earlier this week, research firm L2 Think Tank released its first Multichannel Retail Intelligence Report, examining 79 prestige and luxury retailers. Though there were some bright spots for brands such as Tiffany & Co., Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, luxury brands as a whole are not fully leveraging digital efforts to drive consumers in-store. And why not? is the real question. It’s no secret that the cornerstone of the luxury industry is the in-store experience, and while some retailers excel in the digital space, sites, mobile apps and the general online experience is as impressive as bricks-and-mortar locations. Therefore, brands should consider using social media, search, location-based ads and emails to bring consumers into their stores, where they can fully appreciate high-end products.
Finally, the CFDA Award Presenters were announced this week. The award show on June 3 will see appearances from Kerry Washington, Ralph Lauren, Jessica Chastain, Linda Evangelista and possibly Hillary Rodham Clinton.