Apple will help build retail apps for luxury goods company

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GUCCIYorkdale 2
Apple-made apps are coming to a luxury store near you.
Photo: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine CC

Apple is reportedly teaming up with luxury good business Kering — the company which owns brands Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and others — to create a set of custom apps for use in store.

Details on the new apps are scarce, but they will reportedly be used to help sales assistants to scan inventories. They will also provide more control over the company’s e-commerce activities.

A Reuters report notes that:

“Kering’s decision to move more online activities in-house shows how industry players with financial muscle are deciding to build their own digital operations, giving them full access to sensitive – and strategically useful – information such as client data.

Kering’s larger rival LVMH, owner of Louis Vuitton, last year launched its own multi-brand website known as 24 Sevres and has developed websites for its labels in-house.”

With Apple’s expertise in this domain, it seems like Kering was eager to get the tech giant on board. The report also notes that, “After a slow start shifting sales onto the web, wary that it would dilute their brands’ image, high-end fashion and jewelry labels are piling resources into this channel and building up their own tech teams.”

Given how effectively Apple has managed to combine a strong online retail presence with its image as a premium brand, it totally makes sense for the two companies to partner up.

This isn’t the first time that Apple has developed apps for another company. In the past, it has worked with IBM to develop assorted enterprise apps for business.

It also has experience working in the luxury market, courtesy of its push (particularly early on) to make the Apple Watch a high end fashion product. Apple has previously hired high profile fashion executives including the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent and Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s retail VP, who joined from Burberry.