LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand Marc Jacobs plans to shutter its London store, with other locations in Europe closing in coming months, according to Business of Fashion, citing unnamed sources. Requests for comment or more details to the brand and to LVMH weren’t immediately returned to Retail Dive.
The luxury brand’s Paris store will remain, and it’s not known which European stores besides London might close, although, as Business of Fashion notes, the company runs locations in Denmark, Italy, Norway and Luxembourg.
The report comes on the heels of a shakeup in November in the parent company’s fashion group. After 20 years leading Christian Dior Couture, Sidney Toledano was tapped to become chairman and CEO of the unit, replacing Pierre-Yves Roussel, who had led it for a decade and has moved on to become special advisor to LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault.
According to Arnault, for Christian Dior Couture in particular, the November shakeup signals “a new era,” and it’s possible that the Marc Jacobs brand, which has seen its luxury luster dim in recent years, is not meant to be a major part of that.
Marc Jacobs, in department stores and its own outlets, has relied on major discounting for sales. Rival Coach in recent years, under a similar downgrade in its own luxury perception, has, by contrast, rallied to reclaim its luxe chops and the higher prices that go with that. Coach rebranded itself in October as “Tapestry, Inc.,” reflecting the fact that the company, after its acquisitions — of Stuart Weitzman in 2015 and Kate Spade & Company last summer — now has a stable of brands.
LVMH previously shored up its high-fashion stance in 2016 by unloading the more middle-of-the-road Donna Karan business in a sale to G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. The brand had been the first major American designer label for the company (one of LVMH’s biggest moves into the ready-to-wear industry), and selling it indicated that LVMH seemed determined to focus on the higher end. By the same token, the company appeared to double down on its goals for Christian Dior last year, when it announced, with The Arnault Family Group and the brand itself, a twofold strategic deal to integrate Dior entirely within LVMH, a deal valued at some $13 billion by Business of Fashion’s measure.
The company is looking not only at the brands in its collection but also how to make and market them. Last year, the conglomerate announced a new lifestyle and experiential e-commerce platform, dubbed Clos19, for its Moët Hennessy wine and spirits brands. The company also unveiled a new e-commerce site (24Sevres.com) for its Parisian luxury department store Le Bon Marche, and solidified plans for a U.S.-based manufacturing plant first announced this summer.
In 2016 and 2017, the company made a concerted effort to bounce back after several tough months, particularly in Europe, where activity was impeded by the November 2015 attacks in Paris. As a result, the company said in April last year that its sales trends couldn’t reasonably be extrapolated for the full year.