With Rihanna fully installed as its new brand ambassador and women’s creative director, Puma announced Friday morning that its sales grew to €772.7 million during the second quarter of the year — an increase of 7.6 percent.
According to CEO Bjørn Gulden, that growth owes primarily to a strong showing from Puma’s footwear segment, which was up 16.2 percent against the same period last year. Apparel sales were pretty flat, showing a .3 percent decline, while sales of accessories were up 3.6 percent. During the same period, Puma also started featuring Rihanna “prominently” in its in-store marketing for its women’s training styles during the second quarter. We’re not saying she’s the sole reason the brand performed so well, but… you know. Lady is motivating.
We’ll really see what Rihanna can bring to the table in the coming months, though. Puma’s first “Rihanna-inspired styles” hit stores in the second half of the year, and her own collection will drop in 2016.
Unsurprisingly, Puma is spending a buttload of money to work with Rihanna. The brand reported Friday that its operating expenditures were up 20.4 percent to €357.4 for the second quarter, largely because of its partnerships with Rihanna and Arsenal.
In the short term, those expenses contributed to a net loss of €3.3 million for the Kering-owned brand. But something tells us it will be worth it in the long term.