Prada Sales Boom as China Continues to Splurge

Following strong results from rivals LVMH and Moncler this week, Prada continues the trend of luxury comebacks. On July 29, the Milan-based fashion group reported that sales beat market expectations in the first six months of the year, with total revenues soaring 66 percent at constant exchange rates to 1.5 billion euros ($1.78 billion).

Even though around 17 percent of Prada’s shops were closed during H1 2021, sales from its retail channel were up 60 percent compared to the same period in 2020 and up 8 percent against 2019, totaling 1.281 billion euros ($1.5 billion). Meanwhile, online sales contributed triple-digit growth for the fifth quarter in a row and now accounts for 7 percent of the company’s retail sales.

These positive results were largely driven by robust performances from Asia and the Americas, which both surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Compared to H1 2019, mainland China grew an impressive 77 percent, reflecting continued demand for the Prada brand’s iconic pieces and minimalist accessories. 

And the powerhouse did well to drum up momentum in this key market. Despite controversy around its brand ambassador Zheng Shuang at the beginning of the year (which ended in the termination of her contract after shares took a tumble), Prada quickly bounced back in the second quarter. 

In April, the luxury house entered a groundbreaking partnership with LVMH and Richemont that enables consumers to verify the authenticity of their luxury goods using blockchain technology — a particularly useful tool in China, where brands still often battle counterfeits and copycats.

Its namesake label also localized to win Chinese consumers, from unveiling its Outdoor collection at the Rong Zhai in Shanghai to releasing exclusive products on its Tmall flagship store for China’s 520 Valentine’s Day. Miu Miu, which makes up 13 percent of the group’s sales, similarly tapped local stars to launch a special collection for the holiday centered on self-love. 

For the launch of its Outdoor collection, Prada hosted film screenings and workshops in Shanghai. Photo: Courtesy of Prada

Given this rebound, the group is optimistic about the future. As Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada Group, commented: “The sales momentum will stay strong in the second half of the year. Our brands have plenty of potential and we will unlock it over the medium term.”

And with several shopping festivities to look forward to in the coming months, including the Qixi holiday in August and the much-anticipated Singles’ Day in November, as well as Miuccia Prada and Raf Simmons’s new Fall/Winter 2021 campaign, it’s clear the devil won’t be the only one wearing Prada.


Earnings Brief