LVMH might have embraced digital – but it has no plans to go tech-mad
Luxury titan LVMH might have invested in Lyst to spur digital innovation (see here), but investors needn’t worry that the company’s focus has changed. It’s still all about the luxury, and committed to continuing the journey that’s seen its share price double in the last five years. Ian Rogers, LVMH’s chief digital officer and former exec in the music streaming business, says that the company will take a conservative approach to modernisation – while, nonetheless, realising that – in an increasingly digital world – change is not optional, it’s mandatory.
LVMH’s share price has risen by 21% so far this year
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Speaking “from the sidelines” of the VivaTech conference in Paris at the beginning of June, Rogers said: “Luxury doesn’t have to be an early adopter. We don’t want to be last, but we don’t need to be first. We want to be slightly before mainstream. We don’t need to try every new thing.”
But this is in the context of a massively different world. Rogers also said “where the growth will come from in 15 years is different to where it came from 15 years ago,” and that “you’re overseeing a transition” in multiple industries.
LVMH’s own ambitions in the digital world might not be equal to companies like Amazon or Tencent, but that doesn’t mean they are willing to lag behind. Rogers discussed the role that the company’s chairman and CEO, Bernard Arnault, plays in such discussions: “He’s very involved in looking at startups with us and considering the strategic path forward. The Lyst investment is a direct result of conversations across the group.”
With big plans, like a Paris-based start-up incubator, just on the horizon, LVMH might not plan to become a kingpin in the digital world, but it’s definitely leading the pack when it comes to luxury.
Dominion holds LVMH in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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