By Mauro Orru

The owner of Gucci is buying a historic building in Milan's fashion district for roughly 1.3 billion euros ($1.41 billion), expanding its presence in one of the world's most iconic avenues as it seeks to inject new life into its core brand.

Kering said Thursday that the 18th century building in the city's famous Quadrilatero della Moda includes more than 53,820 square feet of retail space, making it one of the largest in high-end shopping street Via Monte Napoleone.

The French luxury-goods giant, which also owns Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, said it is acquiring the company that owns the property on Via Monte Napoleone 8 from a subsidiary of Blackstone Property Partners Europe, part of Kering's push to secure what it sees as highly desirable locations for its fashion houses.

Blackstone acquired the property in November 2021 when it took control of Reale Compagnia Italiana, an Italian company owning a portfolio of assets in Milan city center. A Blackstone spokesperson said the deal with Kering showed "exceptional investor demand for high quality real estate in the strongest markets."

Via Monte Napoleone is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world and the heart of Milan's fashion district, bustling with shoppers willing to splurge on high-end handbags, jewelry and garments.

The transaction is Kering's largest real-estate purchase so far this year and comes nearly three months after the group said it was buying property comprising multilevel luxury retail spaces in New York City's Fifth Avenue.

Kering agreed to pay $963 million for a roughly 115,000 square feet property at 715-717 Fifth Avenue, on the southeast corner of 56th Street, after it recently acquired property on Avenue Montaigne and Rue de Castiglione in Paris.

The deal comes as Kering's core Gucci brand continues to face challenges, particularly in Asia-Pacific. The company said last month that it expected Gucci sales in the first quarter to slump nearly 20% on year, with group sales down by approximately 10%.

Write to Mauro Orru at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-04-24 0433ET