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Rihanna's Puma creepers were huge sellers for Puma this quarter, unfortunately it was one of the few bright spots for Puma. WWD reports that Puma's overall profits dropped by more than a third this quarter, but that its women's business, women's shoes in particular, is steadily growing. Much of this success can be attributed to Rihanna's presence for the German activewear brand, says its CEO Bjørn Gulden.
"I would say demand was bigger that supply," Gulden said on a conference call. "The launch of the first Puma by Rihanna shoe, the ‘Creeper,' has been extremely successful and most retailers have sold out within hours or days. We have generally seen a very positive development in our women's business and we will put even more focus on the female consumer going forward."
Puma will look to carry that success into the new year with a full collection of footwear and apparel from Rihanna slated to release in 2016.
The strength of the US dollar is also partly to blame for Puma's faltering sales numbers. Puma has to transfer its profits in the US, which has seen the largest amount of growth, by the way, to the weaker Euro. "We have taken and will continue to take countermeasures but, as already indicated in the last two quarters, we cannot fully offset these negative impacts on our earnings," Gulden said.
Puma's struggles have fueled rumors that Kering is looking to sell the brand. However, Gulden squashes those rumors: "I have no indication from [Kering] that they are in the process of wanting to sell - no indication other than from you guys [the media]. If you look into your archives, you will see these rumors [resurface] every quarter."