Chief Executive Patrizio di Marco said the move
was part of a strategy, to "enhance the consistency of our
customers' experience across different markets through
progressively taking control of stores that have historically
been operated by franchisees and wholesalers". Gucci has also
been putting this into practice in the United States, the Gulf
Di Marco said the influence of Russian luxury consumers was
growing, echoing Prada's <1913.HK> chief executive, who recently
brushed aside questions about whether geopolitical troubles
there posed a risk for its business.
Gucci will open a new four-floor flagship store and a location
in the upmarket GUM department store in Moscow in the second
half the year, the company said.
Other Italian luxury brands including Prada and Moncler <MONC.MI>
have been converting wholesale accounts and franchises into
directly-operated shops, as they seek to secure higher margins
and greater control over their brands.
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Mark Heinrich, Greg Mahlich)
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