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Chanel's executive exits echo a changing luxury market

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Chanel boutique Credits: Chanel

A global slowdown in the luxury sector has promoted a series of executive departures at Chanel.

The company’s former Japanese head joins others in leaving the brand, reported Bloomberg, aligning with broader adjustments in the luxury sector due to decreased demand following pandemic-related restrictions. Estimated industry growth for the year is around 4 percent, significantly lower than the 8 percent experienced in 2023.

Recent departures include Richard Collasse, who managed Chanel's Japanese business for four decades, along with other executives like John Galantic and Olivier Nicolay. Galantic, a key player in developing Chanel's e-commerce and digital business, left in June after 16 years, while Nicolay, who oversaw UK, Canadian, and Latin American operations for over three decades, left in March, Bloomberg said. Despite Nicolay's efforts to lobby the UK government for VAT-free shopping for tourists, the initiative has not materialised.

Chanel, privately owned by billionaires Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, reported a revenue increase of 17 percent to 17.2 billion dollars in 2022. The departures signal a strategic shift within Chanel, emphasising the need for established brands to revitalize leadership teams and address changing market dynamics.