Physical Retail Reigns Supreme, LVMH Exec Tells CNBC
CFO Jean Jacques Guiony shared his thoughts on the future of retail and how newly acquired Tiffany & Co. fits in.
LVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean Jacques Guiony shared his thoughts on retail’s future and the importance of the in-store experience during a CNBC interview Monday.
The conglomerate’s portfolio spans multiple categories, including fashion, jewelry and watches.
Its brands include Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer, and the recently acquired Tiffany & Co.
On CNBC, Guiony said the retail store experience will weather the COVID-19 pandemic because the “client experience in a retail store cannot be matched easily online.”
Customers who come into LVMH-owned brands’ stores usually have already been to the brand’s website, where they could have made a purchase, but instead still chose to visit the store.
“They get a lot of information, but they come to the store because the store experience is something that cannot be matched on the internet,” he said.
“As of today, I mean, no one has found the sort of miracle formula that would enable clients to enjoy [the experience] as much online.”
That’s not to say the online elements aren’t important. Retailers should “enrich the experience with online content,” he noted.
However, he said LVMH sees online shopping as only a complement to its physical stores.
During the interview, Guiony also spoke about the company’s $15.8 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co.
The famed jeweler’s New York flagship store on 57th and Fifth, a major draw for shoppers, is still under construction, he noted, but said the rest of the business is “doing fine,” though it is still too soon to give exact figures.
“We are quite satisfied, and on top of that, whatever the numbers, we are definitely convinced that this is a very strong brand.”
Guiony also delved into how Tiffany is settling into the company and the timetable for the assimilation process.
WATCH: LVMH CFO Jean Jacques Guiony Talks Tiffany
“The integration of Tiffany is not a six-month job. It’s something that will last for a number of quarters and the objective is not just to integrate. It is to develop the business up to the level that we think the quality of the brand could generate, so it is a long-term job,” he said.
LVMH’s most recent quarterly results showed a double-digit increase year-over-year in first quarter revenue with sales more than doubling in its watches and jewelry segment.
“All in all, frankly, we cannot complain,” Guiony said, noting business is doing well in most regions.
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