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Consolidation and sustainability mark the way forward for Italian fashion industry


Consolidation and sustainability mark the way forward for Italian fashion industry

The fashion industry is in a whirlwind of consolidation. From luxury giants to high-street favorites, brands are merging, acquiring, and forming strategic partnerships at an unprecedented rate. This trend reflects a dynamic shift in the fashion landscape, driven numerous factors. For example, in August 2023, Tapestry, Inc. (owner of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman) acquired Capri Holdings Limited (Versace, Jimmy Choo, and Michael Kors) for a staggering $8.5 billion. This deal, the biggest in fashion for 2023, aimed to create a powerhouse with a diversified brand portfolio and global reach, leveraging Tapestry's data analytics and direct-to-consumer expertise.

What's driving the dealmaking?

"A Running Timeline of Fashion Funding M&A Deals" by The Fashion Law attributes this trend to a number of factors. Firstly, the rise of e-commerce giants like Alibaba and Farfetch is pushing established brands to adapt and expand their online presence. Secondly, consumer preferences are shifting towards a more diverse and sustainable fashion landscape. M&A allows brands to access new customer segments and resources to cater to these evolving demands.

A prominent example is LVMH's acquisition of Tiffany & Co. in 2020 for a record-breaking $15.6 billion. This strategic move bolstered LVMH's position in the lucrative jewelry sector and further solidified its dominance in the luxury goods market.

The recent investment by G-III Apparel Group (G-III) in the All We Wear Group (AWWG) exemplifies the trend towards strategic partnerships. G-III, known for its portfolio of licensed brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, acquired a significant stake in AWWG, a leading activewear and loungewear company, in 2023 [press release from G-III Apparel Group]. This move allows G-III to tap into the booming athleisure market and diversify its offerings to cater to a growing consumer segment. This M&A trend of reflects a dynamic shift in the fashion landscape, driven by numerous factors.

Evolving consumer landscape: Today's shoppers crave convenience, omnichannel experiences, and sustainable practices. Mergers allow brands to combine resources, cater to diverse customer segments, and build robust online presences.

Digital transformation: The rise of e-commerce necessitates a strong digital infrastructure. Acquisitions like Farfetch's strategic partnership with Richemont (owner of Cartier) in 2023 bolster online capabilities and tap into new markets.

Heightened competition: Fast fashion giants like Shein's IPO filing in 2023 and their acquisition of Missguided highlight the pressure to stay competitive. Mergers create economies of scale, allowing brands to compete more effectively.

Market diversification: Acquiring complementary brands allows companies to expand their reach and cater to new customer demographics.

Resource sharing: Mergers can pool resources, from manufacturing facilities to marketing teams, leading to cost efficiencies and stronger brand development.

Innovation & growth: Combining talent and expertise can foster innovation in design, technology, and sustainability practices, propelling future growth.

The bottomline is the M&A wave in the fashion industry signifies a period of strategic consolidation. As brands adapt to the evolving market dynamics, these collaborations offer the potential for growth, innovation, and a more competitive landscape for fashion globally. As Barbara Kennedy, a fashion industry analyst explains M&A offer a strategic path for fashion brands to navigate the ever-changing industry landscape. By combining resources and expertise, companies can build resilience, drive innovation, and stay ahead of the curve.


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