The Kering group, which controls or owns a wide range of luxury, sports and lifestyle brands, including Gucci, Puma, Volcom and Cobra has assessed its potential in the eyewear market. The French corporation sees double-growth in this category. As such, Kering no longer wants to license this business, but to take it into its own hands. Currently, Kering’s eyewear licensees book sales with Kering-affiliated brands of some €350 million and pay about €50 million in royalties to the group annually. The company believes that it is one of the top 5 players in the business, but nine of 11 luxury and sports & lifestyle brands which have an eyewear offer work with five different license partners.
Kering has now decided to create its own entity which will have full control over the entire chain from design via supply to sales and marketing. The unit will be led by Roberto Vedovotto, chief executive of Kering Eyewear. Vedovotto, who will be co-shareholder of Kering Eyewear along with his team, was hired last November, when he was chief executive of eyewear maker Sáfilo.
Eyewear is a strategic category for Kering brands. Through this innovative project, Kering aims at helping them fulfill their full growth potential in this business.”
Roberto Vedovotto, CEO, Kering Eyewear
As a first move, Kering will end its license agreement with Sáfilo for the Gucci brand by the end of 2016 (two years early). Sáfilo is to be compensated for the anticipated end of the deal, and will remain Kering’s production partner for four more years, from Jan.1, 2017.