France was the only major European market to see sales decline in the final three months of the year, according to third quarter results posted by Richemont today.
Anti-government protesters in yellow high visibility vests known in France as gilets jaune, have been wreaking havoc and destruction on the streets of Paris since mid-November. What started as demonstrations against rising fuel taxes has morphed into a highly charged movement attacking President Emmanuel Macron’s economic and social policies.
Richemont posted worldwide sales increasing by 24% $4.4bn (€3.9bn) for the quarter ending December 31, with sales in Europe surging by 35%.
However, the group reports that sales in Europe were affected by social unrest in France which negatively impacted tourism and led to store closures for six consecutive Saturdays, all of them in the key pre-Christmas period.
Global growth of 5% for Richemont’s retail division would have been higher were it not for “temporary store closures in France” the company states.