Global luxury titan Kering has opened a new state-of-the-art North American operations center in Wayne, N.J.
The office replaces Kering’s former U.S. facility in Secaucus, N.J. The company said with the opening of the new facility, it continues to strategically invest in the region to cope with the increased demand and continued growth of its brands in the market.
These new facilities allow for Kering to better adapt to brand-specific strategic changes, including volume growth, while the benefits realized will allow for the continued success of the company and its brands for the years to come. Kering manages the development of brands in fashion, leather goods, jewelry and watch sectors that include Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux, as well as Kering Eyewear.
“Wayne is an incredible achievement for Kering Americas,” Jean-François Palus, group managing director of Kering Group, said. “The current pandemic presents numerous challenges, but our employees continue to persevere with creativity and resilience. We have been given the opportunity to reflect, retool and react, so that as we move forward, we can work better than ever before. The United States is a key country for the group, and we are excited to not only better serve our clients in this market, but to further invest in this region and to attract the best talent.”
In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Kering reported North America revenue was up 44.1 percent. Online sales increased 101.9 percent in the third quarter, led in part by North America. Gucci’s retail sales rose 43.7 percent in North America.
The company said technology was a key component of the building’s architectural design to achieve the highest functionality with the lowest level of aesthetic intrusion. Some of the key tech features of the Wayne site include a Tech Bar and a Retail Lab to validate new in-store tech solutions to better manage retail and end users’ IT-related activities in the region.
“Our new headquarters feature technological advancements that place us at the forefront to better support our Houses and their growing retail networks,” Laurent Claquin, president of Kering Americas, said. “Wayne provides us with the ability to support our ambition to achieve state-of-the-art performance, promoting both short-term improvements and long-term transformation for the group.”
The building’s interior, designed by architecture firm HLW, blends elements of French style, simple materials and a neutral color palette to balance sophistication and warmth with the building’s industrial nature. Taking inspiration from Kering’s Paris office’s central courtyard that anchors the flow of the workspace, HLW designed a 50-foot stadium staircase that leads to a mezzanine level and cascades into the cafe, offering views out onto a nearby golf course though 24-foot-tall windows.
With sustainability at the heart of Kering’s mission, the new operations center was designed for a LEED Gold certification. Sit-to-stand personal benches are situated along the wall of windows that line the length of the building to ensure each employee is surrounded by natural light. This access to day lighting and views of greenery further illustrates Kering’s commitment to a healthier work environment.
“Our employees’ work-life experience remains our priority,” Claquin added. “Our facility in Wayne offers best-in-class amenities focused on preserving safety, wellness and community, which has proven to be of the utmost importance during these challenging times.”