Europe’s Luxury Retailers May Be Returning to Form

That is part of a trend in the luxury sector. Indeed, European power players do not just appear to be quietly on the rebound, they are back with an emphatic bang.

The success is evident on Bond Street, where Wendi Liu, a visitor from China, joined the line outside the Gucci store, accompanied by her older sister. Clutching their iPhones, the pair wore oversize Gucci sunglasses and planned to shop for sneakers, loafers and possibly handbags once inside the boutique.

“I am completely obsessed,” Ms. Liu said.

The siblings expressed a deep admiration for Gucci’s so-called Renaissance Man, its bearded and charismatic creative director, Alessandro Michele.

In just over two years, and with the help of Gucci’s chief executive, Marco Bizzarri, Mr. Michele has spearheaded a striking turnaround in fortunes for the once-beleaguered fashion house, forged around his colorful and maximalist aesthetic, slick leather goods collections and savvy use of social media.

“I love the clothes and the advertising campaigns, but the bags are really why I am here,” said Julieta Vega, a tourist from Spain on a weekend trip. She already had three Gucci handbags, and added that every time she went abroad she visited the local Gucci store. “You never know what they might have there that you can’t get anywhere else,” Ms. Vega said.

Customers like Ms. Liu and Ms. Vega are propelling a resurgence for Gucci and its parent company.

Kering, which also owns brands like Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, said that total like-for-like sales grew 26.5 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 2017 to 7.3 billion euros, or $8.5 billion, while recurring operating income increased 57.1 percent to nearly €1.3 billion, both of which outperformed analysts’ estimates.


Gucci reported a 43.4 percent increase in sales in the first six months of the year.


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