Casualwear remains in focus as Hugo Boss slowly recovers, says GlobalData

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Following today’s release of Hugo Boss’ figures for Q2, FY2021; Louise Deglise-Favre, associate retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view: “Hugo Boss’ revenue more than doubled during Q2 FY2021, increasing by €354m to €629m, however it remained 4% below 2019 levels, due in part to its reliance on its European home market, in particular Germany and France, which continued to experience significant COVID-19 restrictions. Hugo Boss also suffers from a lack of consumer awareness of its casualwear offer — it is still mainly perceived as a formalwear brand, a detrimental image due to the ongoing casualisation trend. Its performance, however, is on par with that of competitor Ralph Lauren, indicating a dampened appetite for premium brands as opposed to the exceptional results of the luxury sector.

“All regions performed similarly against 2019, indicating that the issue of Hugo Boss’ slow recovery lies in its product proposition. While European revenue remained 4% lower than 2019, sales in the UK, where restrictions lifted earlier due to the country’s impressive vaccination rate, were a respectable 7% above 2019 levels — an encouraging sign for Hugo Boss’ European and overall future recovery. APAC revenue grew by 51% on the year but remained 3% lower than 2019, but outperformer China’s revenue was up 33% against 2019, demonstrating the surge in demand for premium European brands in the country.

“Hugo Boss continues to focus on developing its casualwear ranges, with its athleisure styles heavily displayed on the brand’s homepage and in its ongoing campaigns featuring actor Chris Hemsworth. The more relaxed and casual brand HUGO has experienced better sales performance against 2019 (+2%) than its more formal counterpart BOSS (-5%), demonstrating the appeal of its relaxed fits boosted by the long-term trend of working from home. However, no new major campaigns or collaborations were launched during Q2 FY2021 to promote its casualwear, representing a missed opportunity to gain market share by appealing to a wider range of consumers, especially younger audiences. Despite strong online sales growth (+27% against 2020 and +122% against 2019), Hugo Boss still has more work to do to modernise and enhance its digital platforms and establish itself as an appealing brand to younger generations, for whom a strong digital offer is crucial.”