LONDON — High-end watches and jewelry were among the biggest victims of an ongoing clampdown in consumers’ luxury spending in the first five months of the year, Compagnie Financière Richemont SA said Wednesday.
Richemont, parent of brands including Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Van Cleef & Arpels, said in a trading update for the period from April to August that specialist watch sales fell 18 percent, while jewelry fell 14 percent.
Overall sales fell 16 percent compared with the corresponding period last year, and executive chairman Johann Rupert said it’s too early to make any projections about sales performance in the second half.
“Although the rate of decline in sales is slowing, we still urge caution,” he said. “We would prefer to wait until we have more evidence of a broader economic recovery before speculating on the likelihood of a better second half.”
He reiterated that profits for the first half would be “significantly” below last year’s level, but pointed out Richemont had a robust balance sheet with no debt and 820 million euros, or $1.18 billion, in cash.
The statement, which only reported percentage changes, said America was the worst-performing region, with sales down 36 percent, followed by Europe, where they fell 22 percent, and Japan, which registered a 7 percent decrease. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, rose 5 percent.
Richemont’s wholesale business was down 21 percent, reflecting destocking by retailers, mostly in America, while the retail business shrank 7 percent.
The decline in demand for luxury goods has negatively impacted Richemont’s other divisions as well: the company said there was a “significant decline” in turnover at the group’s watch component manufacturing activities due to a lack of demand throughout the industry.
With regard to Richemont’s other product categories, the writing instruments division saw sales fall 17 percent while leather and accessories fell just 1 percent. A Richemont spokesman told WWD the relatively good performance in that category came from the growth and development of the Dunhill business in Asia, and the fact that both Dunhill and Lancel are retail, rather than wholesale, businesses.
Richemont’s Other Businesses division saw sales fall 23 percent, mostly reflecting the decline in demand at the watch component manufacturers. The firm will publish full interim results for the period ending Sept. 30 in November.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye