Chanel sees strong 2021 recovery, sticks to limited online sales strategy

PARIS/MILAN, June 15 (Reuters) - Sales at French luxury group Chanel are expected to grow by double digits this year compared with their 2019, pre-pandemic levels, the group’s chief financial officer said on Tuesday after the coronavirus crisis hit revenues in 2020.

Sales at the fashion label, known for its tweed suits, quilted handbags and No. 5 perfume, last year totalled $10.1 billion, an 18% decline at constant exchange rates that is steeper than that seen at some rivals. Revenues at LVMH fell by 16% in 2020, while those at Hermes were down by just 6%.

“As we speak, we are growing double digit versus 2019 so far this year and we see no reason for this trend to change,” Chanel’s finance chief Philippe Blondiaux told Reuters, adding that China and the United States in particular were driving the rebound.

“We’re beyond what some have called revenge buying, we believe it’s a deep and lasting momentum, which may not be true for all the players in the luxury industry but it’s true for the big brands which continued to invest as we did.”

Chanel spent a hefty $1.36 billion in 2020 to support its brands, it said.

Reporting by Silvia Aloisi. Editing by Jane Merriman