March 25, 2013, 3:27 PM

PPR unveils a new name

To reflect its focus on luxury and sports, PPR will become known as Kering.

Lead Photo

PPR CEO François-Henri Pinault

The changes keep coming at PPR SA, the French retailing conglomerate that’s selling off brands such as Redcats in order to concentrate on more opportunity in the luxury and sporting goods segments.

Effective in June and following final approval from its board of directors, PPR, No. 5 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 400 Europe, will change its name to Kering. PPR, which owns luxury and lifestyle brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, Sergio Rossi, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, Jeanrichard, Qeelin, Puma, Volcom, Cobra, Electric and Tretorn, says the proposed name change reflects its new business to concentrate on apparel and accessories in luxury and sporting goods. “Changing our identity is the logical and necessary outcome of the group’s transformation,” says CEO François-Henri Pinault. “More than just the change in scope or activity that this new name reflects, it expresses the Group’s new identity and our corporate culture.”

To build up the new name in the months before final board approval, PPR will launch an international Internet advertising and public relations campaign, although the company has yet to release dates and other detailers. PPR also in April will launch a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Weibo, a Chinese social network, Vimeo, a video-sharing site, and Youku, a Chinese video-sharing site. PPR has engaged German fashion blogger Garance Doré to develop a series of videos to explain the new focus for Kering, says PPR. The first video is scheduled to debut in April.  “Strengthened by this new identity, we shall continue to serve our brands to liberate their potential for growth,” Pinault says.

The name change is the latest in a long transformation for PPR from a general retailing and e-commerce company into a more specialized niche retailer. Over the past two years, the company has been selling off and discontinuing operations for Redcats and Redcats USA, No. 34 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500.

In January PPR began discussions with Alpha Private Equity Fund, a nine-year-old Hong Kong private equity firm, to sell the children and family division of Redcats, which includes children’s apparel site Cyrillus.com, in a deal valued at about $158.7 million. PPR hasn’t said if the deal has been finalized. In November PPR also sold announced the sale of The Sportsman’s Guide and The Golf Warehouse to Northern Tool + Equipment Co. in a deal valued at $215 million

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