Swiss luxury group Richemont


Swiss luxury group Richemont has sold Shanghai Tang, the Chinese fashion brand, to an Italian businessman. The owner of jewellers Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget said it had sold the fashion group, founded by Hong Kong businessman David Tang, to a business controlled by Alessandro Bastagli last week.

The Swiss group declined to say how much the deal was worth but said on Monday that the sale would “have no material impact” on its results for the year to March 2018. It gave no details of Shanghai Tang’s financial performance, but the losses it has wracked up are expected to be disclosed with Richemont’s half-year results, published in November. Mr Bastagli is chairman of A.

Moda, a privately held clothes manufacturer based in Florence which he founded in 1978, and also owns Italian textile group Lineapiù, which produces high end products for the world’s top luxury houses. The disposal follows a revamp of Richemont’s top management and board announced late last year by Johann Rupert, its chairman and controlling shareholder.

In May, Mr Rupert signalled an increased focus on the group’s underperforming assets, which has already led to significant restructuring measures at Dunhill, a fashion brand. “Richemont still has some smaller businesses in fashion — Dunhill, Lancel, Chloé and Azzedine Alaïa — which have been a drag for years and which could also be put up for disposal so it can concentrate on its main watch and jewellery brands,” said Jean-Philippe Bertschy, analyst at Vontobel.

“After the recent board and management changes, we expect Mr Rupert to be more aggressive.”

Richemont first acquired a stake in Shanghai Tang in 1998 before taking full ownership a decade later. However, like other luxury groups, it has seen demand fall sharply in recent years, especially for luxury watches, as a result of sluggish global economic growth, changes in Chinese spending patterns and past overstocking.

When Richemont bought Shanghai Tang from Sir David, the company was focused on marketing traditional-style Chinese outfits to foreign travellers passing through Hong Kong, with few sales to local customers.

Since then its has expanded to 23 stores and has attempted to appeal to a wider customer base, although many Shanghai Tang shirts still feature a mandarin collar, a style common in Asian apparel in the 19th century.

It has sought to position itself as a leading luxury brand within China, home to the world’s largest luxury market, but it also has outlets in London and Miami. Yet it has noted in the past the difficulty in striking a balance between modern luxury and Shanghai Tang’s Chinese roots.

Luxury sales began rebounding in China in the latter half of 2016, following a deceleration of Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign which dented sales of goods deemed extravagant.Read more at:celebrity dresses | semi formal dresses