Sunday 20 January 2019

Gucci's Irish sales tumble as it closes Kildare store

Stylish showing: Gucci’s profits in Ireland rose to €749,000 despite a fall in turnover. Photo: Bloomberg
Stylish showing: Gucci’s profits in Ireland rose to €749,000 despite a fall in turnover. Photo: Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Luxury goods group Gucci saw its turnover in Ireland tumble 35pc to €4m in its last financial year after it closed its outlet store in Kildare Village.

Newly-filed accounts for the company's Irish operation confirm the sharp decline and directors of the firm note that the reduction was "mainly due" to the closure of the store in the outlet mall.

But Gucci's pre-tax profit in Ireland actually rose to €749,000 in the 12 months to the end of last February, from €726,000 a year earlier, the accounts note, as its cost of sales plunged to €1.7m from €3.7m.

"A significant proportion of our sales performance is linked to the level of tourism in Ireland," the accounts added. "Exchange rate fluctuations are therefore influential."

Dundrum Shopping Centre co-owner Hammerson owns about 41pc of the Kildare Village outlet mall.

Another international retailer based at the Kildare shopping destination, The White Company, said that it generated sales of €661,000 at its store there between mid-November 2017 and the end of last March. It made a gross profit of €365,000. The retailer has since gone on to open a second outlet in Ireland, on Dublin's Grafton Street.

Figures published this week showed that retail sales in Ireland rose 0.4pc year-on-year in November in value terms, excluding the motor trade. The figure was weaker than expected by economists.

"Even with the fluctuation in consumer sentiment, overall personal spending has been positive in the past couple of years, boosted by the increase in the numbers employed in the country," said Merrion Capital economist Alan McQuaid.

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