After an uphill climb, Moncler S.p.A recorded a significant recovery in the second half of 2020. On February 18, the luxury puffer jacket maker posted revenues of 1.44 billion euros for the financial year ended December 31. This was down 11 percent at constant exchange rates, compared to 1.63 billion euros in 2019.
Despite rising COVID-19 cases and store shutdowns during the holiday season, the last few weeks of 2020 proved crucial for the Milan-based company. In the fourth quarter, revenue jumped 8 percent to 675.3 million euros —beating analyst expectations and bringing a welcome change from the 15 percent tumble in Q3.
This upswing was, unsurprisingly, driven by expansion in China. While Moncler’s home market Italy saw year-on-year revenue slip 34 percent, mainland China held its own with double-digit acceleration. Overall, the Asia region surged 26 percent in revenue in the final quarter of 2020.
It’s no wonder that Moncler has increased its focus on the world’s largest luxury market. Last October, the luxury outerwear brand launched its China-exclusive Young Icons collection and unveiled a pop-up installation in Shanghai, which resonated well with the country’s many Gen Zers. A few weeks later, it announced plans to move Moncler Genius, an event where designers reinvent its signature pieces, from Milan to China, set to present in September 2021.
Besides ramping up activations in the mainland, Moncler made its first acquisition last December with the purchase of Stone Island, an Italian high-end streetwear brand for 1.15 billion euros, which it expects will also play a key role in staking a greater claim on the market.
“With Stone Island, the Moncler Group strengthens its presence in the growing new luxury segment, which is about community, experientiality and cross-fertilization,” said CEO Remo Ruffini.
By delving into “new luxury,” Moncler hopes to meld the lines between arts, culture, music, and sports. This innovative approach could better position the Italian house to reach with younger generations, particularly in China, who are enthusiastic about collaborations across industries. Moreover, this new focus could help Moncler differentiate itself from both legacy powerhouses like LVMH as well as sportswear giants like adidas as it grows internationally.
While the future remains rocky, the synergy of these two companies could be exactly what Moncler needs to reinvigorate its brand, expand its luxury footprint, and set its China success in stone.