Kering is currently developing a disruptive new Subscription model

The French Luxury conglomerate adopts a disruptive positioning destined to invent the Luxury shopping experience of the future

in brief

In a recent announcement, François-Henri Pinault teased the experiments led by one of Kering’s internal team in charge of an innovative project, centered on new online sales model, under the direction of Gregory Boutté, ex-CEO of Ebay France, recruited in late December to lead a new digital and customer relationship department.

During the 2017 results presentation from Kering, within the framework of an internal program on disruptive strategies, the group’s CEO François-Henri Pinault presented a current experimental project inside the french luxury conglomerate destined to enable it, over time, to offer a new buying experience which draws inspiration from innovative online subscription models :

« We pay close attention to ” subscription ” models. I don’t like the word ” rental ” because it’s not exactly that : actually, it’s more like a kind of subscription offered on certain kind of products. Nowadays it exist in the Mass market universe. It doesn’t exist in a Luxury universe. So the question we are asking ourselves is ” Can we apply this model to Luxury ? And, if we can, what does it mean ? “. We are currently testing this out with partners outside of the group. » François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering

Very attentive to market evolutions, strongly influenced by the galloping growth of e-commerce and new business models that proved their worth on the online sales market, the company is considering many research paths in order to conceive a new kind of value proposition. A bet at the crossroads of subscription models (which are growing more and more popular, like stated in our latest piece), rental and the second-hand market.

« On second-hand, we are currently testing things. We are especially working with The Realreal, first of all with Saint Laurent » François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering

The ”graffiti mountain” from Balenciaga’s FW18 show.
Photo: Betrand Rindoff Betreff / Getty Images

For Kering, these experiments are the defining moment of a year filled with technological developments, thus completing the french company’s transformation into a « Luxury pure-player ».

« Last year, we set up a global “salesforce” platform that concentrates all our clients’ datas, from both our online and brick-and-mortar stores, to have a very strong CRM activity. Both at the group’s scale, which will benefit our brands that cannot develop such competence because of their size, and in collaboration with bigger brands. We are developing a know-how which is really going to have an impact. ». François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering

Like a sign of recognition, the strategic stance of Kering on these subjects rings like a wake-up call signaling the beginning of Luxury’s new era, more prospective and assertive, which gets out of its traditional ways to better reinvent itself and carry on. While the ambitions of the 2nd biggest worldwide luxury company remain to define, this announcement makes it possible that 2018 could be the year when the industry’s biggest players will take charge for the risks linked to innovation’s eruption, as much in terms of investment as for research and development, which until now rested on the shoulders of startups and small companies. To be continued.   

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