Valentino posts sales declines in 2020, but sees recovery in China and online
Like most luxury houses, Valentino was strongly affected by the pandemic last year. Accordingly, the Italian Maison has reported a 28% decline in its annual revenues, which fell from 1.22 billion euros in 2019 to 882 million euros in 2020. In constant currencies, the decrease was 27%. The company was, nonetheless, able to limit damage by reacting to the situation with a range of initiatives that allowed it to keep in touch with its customer base and strengthen its relationship with fans.
The label, which has undertaken a major reorganization of its management under the leadership of new CEO Jacopo Venturini, implemented a variety of new tactics. These ranged from reaching out to its community through digital communication using diverse content, including advice, games, performances, and digital projects, to improved omnichannel integration and the introduction of clienteling and remote sales strategies in the second half of the year.
As a result, the brand, which has been owned by Qatari investment fund Mayhoola since 2012, saw an acceleration in sales in its two main categories, ready-to-wear and accessories, which represented 36% and 63% of the company's business volume, respectively, in 2019. On top of this, the sales campaign for the brand's Fall 2021 pre-collection, presented in July of last year, saw an increase of 25% in orders compared to the Cruise 2021 collection, which was itself a success with the public, having been sold through the original digital project, "Valentino Insights."
Another promising result was e-commerce. Valentino's online sales in all digital channels, including direct-to-consumer and multibrand platforms, shot up 62% in 2020. Despite not reporting exact figures, the Rome-based brand indicated that these sales represented 14% of the revenue made in its retail network. Valentino's own virtual boutique alone saw its sales rise 77% in the period.
As a reminder, the label signed off on a partnership with luxury e-commerce platform Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) for the distribution and delivery of its products in 2017, with both companies pooling their online sales resources into one multichannel interface dubbed "Next Era." This solution allows customers to access stock both from Valentino stores and from YNAP's network of eight fulfillment centers, thereby reducing delivery times.
Finally, the brand also highlighted its strong results in China, where its revenues grew 44% year over year. In order to keep in touch with this market, which is one of Valentino's largest, the brand's creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, organized a multimedia experience entitled "Valentino: Re-Signify Part One Shanghai" in December.
"Our financial results for 2020 show a sector that has been strongly penalized by the global health emergency. Today more than ever, it's essential to concentrate on our omnichannel activity, with particular emphasis on innovation and advanced digital technologies," commented Valentino president Rachid Mohamed Rachid in a release.
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