Photo by Richard Olivares
The Kering Group Is Looking To Set Volcom Free
Establishment against youth!
In 2011, a French corporation called the Kering Group — known as PPR at the time — acquired Volcom for just north of 600 Million USD.
Kering’s cap has feathers like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Stella McCartney. When the news broke, the collective surf world industry briefly scratched its head and muttered Hmm, good for Wooly, I guess?
The earth managed to keep rotating around the sun in some form of cosmic miracle. As a result, Volcom employees were offered substantial discounts on Kering-owned Puma gear.
However, it appears as though the corporation’s expensive romance with surf won’t enjoy its Aluminum Anniversary.
Kering’s Financial Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix, who finished 374th on the QS in 1996 (just kidding), recently announced that the group is looking to sell off its sport and lifestyle brands: Volcom and Puma.
The group is opting to focus on their premium brands/getting more people to spend thousands of dollars on bags whose sole purpose is to transport small items for short distances instead.
So, where does that leave us?
In the long run, potentially with a Volcom that embodies a little more youth and a little less establishment.
Though there is the odd chance that our friends at OakTree will buy them and proceed to acquire Rip Curl, Hurley, the WSL, Roark, The Mad Hueys, Rhythm, TCSS, Channel Islands, ...Lost, O’Neill, JS, DHD, every house on your neighborhood, all of your possessions and your firstborn child. Business is business, right?
However, the Stone's future is yet to be written in...
One interesting thing to note: When Kelly Slater’s Outerknown launched with an autumn/winter line in 2015, the accompanying press release noted the brand’s strategic partnership with the Kering group. Strategic partnership, in this case, can presumably be translated to ownership — that shit certainly wasn’t a collab.
While OK clearly plays in the “sport and lifestyle” space, if you must, it’s certainly more premium than your average boardshort peddler. There's currently no word on whether or not the brand will be affected.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Either that or, you know, go surfing.