Diversifying in one way or another to more effectively capture marketshare was a common theme among some of the firms presenting at twoseparate investor conferences on Wednesday.
At the Piper JaffrayAnnual Consumer Conference at the New York Palace Hotel, Joe Parsons,executive vice president, treasurer, chief financial officer and chiefoperating officer of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., said, “We’re actuallyvery excited about the accessible luxury business, which we believe isgrowing both in North America and globally. So we think our positioningis excellent there.”
He told attendees that the company is stillvery focused on handbags, but has expanded to other categories, such assmall leather goods. “We priced it aggressively initially and smallleather goods, again coming off of a small base, [is] actually ourfastest-growing component in our retail stores today.”
He saidthe company is also looking to convert 1,000 wholesale accessories doorsinto shop-in-shop environments, and do the same for women’s wear,footwear and men’s wear. Looking ahead, e-commerce will eventually be 10percent of global retail sales, but Parsons declined to provide anytimeline on when that could occur.
Glenn K. Murphy, Gap Inc.’schairman and chief executive officer, said at the Piper conference thatthe company “drove our business on market share in the Nineties throughreal estate and the introduction of new brands. You don’t gain marketshare anymore through a real estate strategy.” His point was that onenow gains market share through marketing, product, execution andinnovation.
Murphy said the company sees itself as a “world classservice provider,” given its portfolio of brands. It has three iconicbrands — Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy — and three developing brands— Athleta, Piperlime and Intermix. Gap Inc. plans to grow bycapitalizing on the global opportunities that are available, an increasein square footage that’s thought out in terms of new brands and in newcountries, as well as its outlet business, and via a multichannelexperience.
At the William Blair & Co. Annual Growth StockConference in Chicago at the Four Seasons Hotel, Michael JosephKowalski, chairman and ceo of Tiffany & Co., said, “We have been andwe will continue to be focused on evolving the Tiffany brand to be amore effective global competitor. To that end, we will continue tomigrate entry-level price points upward over time, injecting more designexcitement and materials innovation into our fashion jewelry categoryto accelerate growth as we move up the price-point ladder.”
Kowalskiemphasized that the company isn’t walking away from the “criticallyimportant silver jewelry category. However, we are developing excitinginnovative new silver jewelry and fashion jewelry more broadly that webelieve will command higher retail prices driven by product design.”
He also said the company will unveil a new Web site later in the year, which will address the changing digital landscape.
"I was driving back on Saturday afternoon from the beach, and I just saw this sign saying 'Skydiving for $95.' And I was like, I can't not sky dive for $95," says Tom Bateman about a moment in Hawaii while shooting "Snatched." #wwdeye (📷: @victoriastevens; Interview by @ktauer; Styled by @thealexbadia)