December 4, 2017 / 8:26 AM / 10 days ago

Kering hires chief client and digital officer in online push

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s Kering (PRTP.PA) has hired former eBay manager Gregory Boutte for the newly created post of chief client and digital officer, as luxury goods companies strive to tap surging demand for online sales.

The logo of Kering is seen during the company's 2015 annual results presentation in Paris, France, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Gucci-owner Kering said on Monday Boutte would be a member of the group’s executive committee and have responsibility for driving the “development of e-commerce, CRM (client relationship management) and data management”.

Online sales have become the luxury goods industry’s most important engine of growth, with some of Kering’s brands already enjoying a big boost to sales from the internet.

    Boutte spent several years in a number of positions at online marketplace eBay (EBAY.O) and has more recently worked for start-ups such as ride-sharing platform Sidecar and online courses provider Udemy.

    Online sales of luxury goods are set to grow 24 percent in 2017 and make up close to 10 percent of the market, according to consultancy Bain. It forecasts they will represent 25 percent of all luxury sales by 2025.

    In a similar move, Kering’s rival LVMH (LVMH.PA) hired former Apple music executive Ian Rogers to craft a digital strategy last year.

    Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Richard Lough and Mark Potter

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