Armani Bounces Back to Billions

Armani Revenues Matching Pre-Pandemic Sales

by Billie Rose Owen

Italian luxury goods group Armani has seen revenues rise by 26 percent in 2021, reaching €2.02 billion in revenue and nearly matching pre-pandemic sales. 

With the initial outbreak of Covid-19 and the swath of store closures across the country, sales depleted by  €29.5 million for Armani, settling at €171 million in 2020. This increase in 2021 sales surpasses the brand’s €2 billion target initially forecasted for 2022, marking an early and momentous recovery for the Italian fashion giant. 

In 2022, sales have steadily risen, consistently exceeding the sales achieved pre-pandemic in 2019 – a significant jump up from 2021, when Armani revenues were still down by around 7 percent from pre-pandemic levels, falling short behind major Italian competitors like Prada (which grew by 8 percent over 2019 sales in 2021) and French conglomerate LVMH (who’s fashion division surged 42 percent over 2019 sales in 2021). 

Before the pandemic, Armani had been tackling a repositioning of its brand message and simplifying its cost structure, phasing out its sub-brands like Armani Jeans and Armani Collezioni. The bounce back in sales makes the restructure all the more rewarding: The brand attributes the revived revenue to the streamlining of its collection sizes and the attentive selection of the brand’s distribution network, celebrating a successful brand repositioning driven by Armani’s founding principle: less is more. 

With the Armani Group’s remarkable recovery comes the speculation that 88-year-old owner and chief executive officer, Giorgio Armani, may seek a deal to merge or sell his company. While Armani has long claimed that his company remains wholly independent, he shared with US Vogue last March that the pandemic caused him to reconsider, and that he may explore “a liaison with an important Italian company.” While explorations with Ferrari-owner Exor were discussed, they have since been stalled and no further comment has been provided by Armani.
In response to the exciting surge in sales, Armani stated that “the remarkable growth achieved in 2021, consolidated by the positive performance in the first half of this year, makes me cautiously optimistic”. While he plans to continue the brand on its strategic path and expects a substantial improvement in operating profitability, he also stated his awareness of potential risks, citing a possible economic downturn caused by the war in Ukraine, new waves of covid-19, and stringent monetary policies to combat inflation.