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FB Roundup: Marriott International, Henkel, Kering

Marriott International scores its ESG performance, Henkel opens its ideas factory, Kering rebounds with e-commerce and growth in North America and China.

Marriott International scores its ESG performance

Family-controlled Marriott International, Inc, the largest lodging company in the world, says it has achieved its goal of spending $500 million with women-owned businesses one year ahead of schedule and spent nearly a billion dollars with diverse- and women-owned businesses.

The goal was among the highlights in its 2020 Serve 360 Report released this month on its diversity, volunteerism and other environmental, social and governance activities.

Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, Marriott’s sustainability and social impact platform, sets the benchmark in “creating positive and sustainable impact wherever we do business.”

The new report said Marriott had trained more than 725,000 associates in human trafficking awareness since 2016, in pursuit of the company’s aim to train all on-property associates by 2025.

The US business launched its Marriott Global Cleanliness Council to boost cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviours in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hotels donated essential items to frontline and medical workers, families and community groups, as well as event space to help non-profits stick to social distancing instructions. Marriott partnered with American Express and JPMorgan Chase to provide $10 million worth of free hotel stays for frontline healthcare workers.

JW “Bill” Marriott Jr (pictured), 88, is the executive chairman and chairman of the board of Marriott International. The billionaire son and namesake of the founder has been involved in the leadership of the family business for more than 60 years, building an empire of 6,500 properties in 127 countries. Married to Donna Garff for 60 years, the couple have four children, 15 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren. Bill Marriott will transition to chairman emeritus in 2022 and be replaced by his son, David Marriott, 46, who has worked as chief operating officer for the Americas eastern region at the company.

Like many operators in the travel industry, Marriott International has been impacted by the pandemic. The company’s operating income totalled $252 million in the 2020 third quarter, down from $607 million in the same three months in 2019.

Henkel opens its ideas factory

Henkel, the German fifth-generation consumer goods group, is nurturing intrapreneurs in new think tanks to accelerate innovation and drive its competitive edge.

The €38 billion ($44.8 billion) family-controlled group’s consumer business units Beauty Care and Laundry & Home Care set up dedicated teams this month. The mission of the teams called “The Fritz Beauty Lab” and “Love Nature” is to anticipate upcoming trends, identify new business models and services, and develop product concepts to grow and expand the businesses.

“Key priorities are speed and agility,” Henkel announced.

“That is why the teams work as ‘entrepreneurs within the company’, closely collaborating with internal and external partners. Independent and fast processes on the one hand and access to Henkel’s global resources on the other hand will help the teams to develop successful brand and sales strategies.”

Henkel said it will invest an extra €350 million ($428 million) in advertising, digital and IT to expand its use of digital tools and data for faster and better insights and leverage open innovation and idea crowdsourcing.

Among the family members involved in Henkel is Dr Simone Bagel-Trah (pictured), chairwoman of the shareholders’ committee and supervisory board, who is the great-great-granddaughter of founder Fritz Henkel.

Kering rebounds with e-commerce and growth in North America and China

Francois-Henri Pinault, second-generation principal of Kering, credits e-commerce for helping to recover third quarter sales from the pandemic to almost the same level as the 2019 quarter.

The €15.9 billion ($19.4 billion) luxury goods group reaped the benefits of sharp growth in certain regions, notably North America, up 44%, driven by a rebound in local demand, and Asia-Pacific, up 18%, fuelled by momentum in China. However, sales performances for the French company in western Europe were down 41% and Japan down 23, still hampered by the halt in tourism.

Kering said its online sales continued an “outstanding growth trajectory”, up 102% in the third quarter, again led by North America and Asia-Pacific. In the first nine months of 2020, e-commerce accounted for 12% of group retail sales.

Fashion, leather goods, jewellery and watch brands in the Kering portfolio include Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Brioni and Kering Eyewear.

Pinault (pictured), 58, the chairman and chief executive and son of founder Francois Pinault, said the family business achieved “substantial revenue recovery” in the third quarter.

“We are pursuing with determination the implementation of our strategic initiatives —the internalisation of our e-commerce activities reached other key milestones and we continue bolstering our growth platforms.”

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