While releasing weak results for the first half of the year, marked by heavy losses, Moncler focused on the future and announced the acceleration of its digital transformation. After a fruitful collaboration with Yoox Net-a-Porter, it has decided to directly manage e-commerce, with a view to personalizing the customer experience. The management said that every project, ranging from the definition of collections to product development and the definition of event concepts, should now be “digital-first” and must be designed to fit digital platforms before being spread across all other channels. The group aims to double the share of its online business over the next three years.
In China, the company is strengthening its local digital team with specialist roles dedicated to the definition of a targeted strategy and to digital innovation and experimentation.
Starting with the U.S. and Canada in October 2020, the internalization of its e-commerce channel will be progressively done and completed in 2021. In addition, Moncler said it will launch a fully integrated omnichannel e-commerce platform in 2021, inspired by the world of entertainment and offering a “state-of-the-art” experience, in addition to customized content and services including product personalization features. It says the journey is going to be built around a customer who follows non-linear purchasing paths, interacting with the brand in the physical store as well as online and across social channels. Following the success of the Weibo livestream for the 7 Moncler Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara collection, which generated 32 million views in one day, Moncler will continue to implement real-time live sales and livestreaming programs.
Moncler will also strengthen its investments in digital intelligence and consumer insights tools with a new set of technological platforms. This will enable the transition from big data to an actionable smart data strategy aimed at building a unique and complete consumer overview, while supporting the company’s decision-making processes in real time. The use of artificial intelligence and its predictive ability – which is already applied to quality control and warehouse management, demand planning and store replenishment – will now be extended to product recommendations on the e-commerce channel, client service interactions, merchandising and pricing.
Back to results, Moncler saw revenues for the first half of 2020 decrease by 29 percent in constant currencies to €403.3 million. The drop came after 24 quarters of double-digit revenue growth, resulting from the impact of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. In the second quarter, more than 50 percent of Moncler’s store network was closed for two months.
Italy registered a 39 percent sales decline from the same period a year ago to €41.9 million, hampered by store closures and the lack of tourists. In EMEA, excluding Italy, revenues decreased by 23 percent in constant currencies to €130.0 million, with France underperforming, while Germany and Scandinavia did well.
In Asia and the Rest of the World, revenues dropped by 27 percent at constant exchange rates, down to €181.7 million. On March 31, Moncler acquired a 39.01 percent stake in the Korean subsidiary Moncler Shinsegae from its Korean partner, and now controls 90.01 percent of it. In the Americas, revenues tumbled by 41 percent in constant currencies to €41.7 million.
Overall, retail revenues were down by 32 percent at current exchange rates to €300.5 million, reflecting the impact of store closures. E-commerce grew by double digits. Meanwhile, wholesale revenues decreased by 21 percent in constant currencies to €102.8 million.
As of June 30, 2020, Moncler’s mono-brand distribution network consisted of 213 directly operated stores, and 63 wholesale shop-in-shops, which is four more than on Dec. 31, 2019. During the first quarter, Moncler opened its first store in Kiev, Ukraine.
The group’s gross margin fell by 7.4 percentage points to 69.3 percent, due to the write-downs of excess spring/summer 2020 stock. The group recorded a net loss of €31.6 million, compared with net income of €70.0 million for the first six months of 2019.
Most of Moncler’s store have now re-opened. At the end of June, only 9 stores were still temporarily closed. The company has not released any guidance for the full year, but said it is planning to focus on clients, e-commerce and its omni-channel approach, as well as sustainable development for the remainder of 2020. It has also just signed a revolving credit facility for a maximum amount of €400 million.
On June 11, Moncler signed a worldwide exclusive license agreement with Interparfum to create and distribute perfumes and fragrance-related products that will be distributed in stores. The first fragrance is expected in 2022.